You have been invited to become a member of a multidisciplinary team that spans functions, contractors and agencies. You are at the kick off meeting where 12 of you will go over the project scope, milestones, deadlines, roles and responsibilities. The agenda has been circulated and scrutinized.

Just as everyone is about to roll up their sleeves, the Chair says:
"Before we begin, let's go around the table and introduce ourselves."

You flinch.

Didn’t you promise yourself last time that you would stand by with a punchy introduction?
One that would make you look like a winner to remember?

You taste bitter disappointment as you mumble your name, your title and how long you have been in this business. It ends with a “…and that’s it” before passing the baton on to the person sitting next to you. You spend the next couple of meetings correcting your new teammates because they are confusing you with Ali in Marketing.

How do you provide an introduction that speaks for itself?

Here are 4 simple steps that I’ve been following which can be applied to these and many other situations:
1. Grab their attention
2. Establish rapport by acknowledging any discomfort they may be feeling
3. Create tension by highlighting the worst problem that can happen to the team
4. Introduce your name and provide an example of how you can help eliminate the problem in step 3 (essentially your role in the team)

Let’s bring this template to life:

“Have you noticed how everyone here is left-handed? Now that we’ve all seen the agenda I’m sure that you are eager to skip to item 4 to discuss how we push this absurdly tight deadline. If we don’t manage to do that then we might as well put our personal lives on hold for a whole year. My name is Sami and I’m the Project Manager. Not only am I responsible for delivering this project on time and on budget, but I’m also responsible for your well-being, and will likely be at the top of every spouse’s black list”>

Do you have other templates that you use? Share and comment below.

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