Mastering Introductions Based on Values and Strengthsis your answer to the hundreds of introductions that are shallow, boring, and are basically a result of people not knowing how much to say or what to say in an intro. Intros are wildly important and can ruin an impression or be incredibly awkward. Usually in an introduction you offer basic demographics and details about your job and skills, but rarely reveal essential information or values that show who the person is.
It should not come as a shock that we recommend circumventing the shallow intro in favor of s storytelling intro that connects an audience to an individuals values and strengths. This offers the listener better insights into who a person is in the context of their narrative.
Mastering Introductions Based on Values and Strengths Exercise
If we have a dime for everytime the answer to connecting to an audience turned out to be storytelling….. This is our goal with this exercise and the goal is to use a story that describes you at your very best. Don’t know that story? This exercise identities questions that serve as guides to find a few different scripts to use, depending on the situation.
1. Read through each of these prompts and see if any jump out at you that you want to answer, You need to have substantive answers to these, so really consider the questions carefully. Do any of them remind you of experiences you have had? What is the story behind them?
2. Go through questions again and answer them again but this time look for patterns in your answers and scan them for themes. Now, examine the themes in a broader context of your life experience. Think of the themes as the moral of your story, and what you want the audience to intuit from you.
4. Repeat these steps until you find a story that really works for you or you can do this with a close friend who can help you know you.
Building a Values and Strengths Narrative
These questions are derived from Positive Psychology, and are meant to help you identify components to your introduction narrative.
You at your best
- What is the moment/event of which you are most proud? Why?
- What is your greatest achievement to date? Why?
- What are your top talents?
- What do you do best?
- What are you like when you are at your best?
- If your spouse or best friend were asked to describe you at your best, what would he/she say?
- Why did you choose your line of work?
- Why did you choose your company?
- How does your line of work, and the company’s mission, fit in with your overarching life goals?
- What do you enjoy doing?
- Which tasks do you do well and why?
- In which work tasks can you get so involved that you wonder where the time went when you finished them?
- Which work tasks are invigorating challenges that you like tackling? (If your answer to this is “none,” then determine which work tasks/assignments you would like to take on as an invigorating challenge — consider suggesting to a decision-maker that you take these on!)
- If you could design your job and task list at this company, what would it be? (If you need to, start with an unrealistic answer, and then work back into reality from there, but DARE TO DREAM!)
As you move into a specific project, have everyone consider the following:
- What can you contribute to this project?
- Which tasks do you hope to do?
- How does this project fit into your job?
- In which ways is this project stimulating? If it isn’t yet, how can you make it so?
- How does this project and task list fit into your motivations, life aims, and career goals? If it doesn’t, what can you add or change that will make this task more than just an assignment?
Bonus Self Reflection Portion
When you have found your narrative or collection of narratives, time to do some reflection on all of these themes that emerged. Consider the following to make your delivery smoother and more authentic.
- How did the deliver of your intro feel? What made it more easy/difficult?
- Did you learn anything new about yourself in this process?
- Do you feel more clear about who you are and how you want to be present?
Who can use this Value Based Introduction Narratives
Who cannot use better ways of introducing themselves? From the moment you open your mouth your audience is trying to figure out what you are about and this narrative immediately sets the tone for a more authentic connection. Sales leaders and facilitators can use this exercise for introduction prior to group sessions. Basically you can practice this when you want to introduce yourself beyond name, title, and job description. You do more than communicate with your audience, who you are at your best, you also allow your audience to anticipate feeling heard and understood. Your story just needs to have interests, talents, and motivations. When used in group settings this method is incredibly powerful.
Anything we should not include in an intro narrative?
Bragging. Stories where you are the hero, without undergoing some type of learning and self effacement are not the kind of thing that shows values. Awards and times when you have won something actually say more about the people that offer rewards, rather than the receiver. Narratives should resonate on a personal level and not be devised to impress others.
Ready to Master the Value Based Introduction Narrative?
Now that you have a value based narrative to introduce yourself, use it. You will need to practice your intro in front of your team or family, and make sure that it does not sound rehearsed, and then put it into your demo and presentation rotation. You will be setting the tone for an honest sales meeting or discovery session by showing a vulnerable intro that shows your values.
Did you find Mastering Introductions Based on Values and Strengths useful? Looking to refine your sales and presentations messages, including intros? Let’s chat!