I have given classes and been the guest speaker at events to discuss introductions. The elevator pitch as it is most commonly known. Normally I discuss how to craft this short introduction for a variety of scenarios in a manner that engages your audience. If you can gain interest with your introduction you normally can engage in a conversation which in turn leads to a more solid connection.
Today; however, I will make an argument for the flip side of this. I am an analyzer, I know this and honestly I am okay with it; but what it means for this blog is that I try to see all sides of a situation. I really do try to see the validity of each possible perspective.
As I meet various individuals in different situations I realize there are valid reasons for having a flat intro. This can come in handy so, in an effort to be supportive to those who cling to their intro of a title or who they work for I will attempt to do you justice. So here are some of the reasons that support this notion:
I have no interest in talking to you.
Responding to the question, “And what do you do?” with a response of “I work for a builder.” is a pretty good indication that you have no desire to continue any further with the conversation. If the other party was just being polite and actually has no desire to talk to you either they can honor your unspoken request with a simple response of the non-committal half-noise/half-word of “Ah”.
I have no idea what I do.
Perhaps you have responded that you work for a builder, but it is not that you do not want to talk to the other party but rather you really do not have a clue what it is that you do. It can happen, I was reminded of this again Tuesday, but I digress.
If you have used the “I don’t want to talk to you line” but did not mean it and follow it up with an “I do want to talk to you gesture” such as pulling up a chair or moving a bit closer than the other party might pick up on this and ask, “So what do you do for the builder?” giving you the opportunity to continue.
Responding with some new vague response can clarify the situation, such as “I am a salesman.” Ah-ha! The real reason comes through, it is not that you do not want to talk to the other person, you just have no idea about the topic at hand – you.
If the other party is astute enough to decipher your reasoning they can help you out by saying the non-committal response now, as in “That’s nice.” You are actually helping the other party. This little game of 20-questions-to-figure-you-out can be quite exhausting.
I have enough business, thank you very much.
Perhaps you live in the land of plenty and just have no need for any potential business, yea you. And this strategy of introducing yourself as your title or by the company you work for is just the ticket to make sure pesky potential prospects do not bother you with attempting to get more information on just how you could help them.
I’m not very good at what I do.
By being as non-committal as possible you actually might hide the fact that you stink at your job. If you had to have an in-depth conversation about what you do or how you should bring value to others there is the possibility that the other party could discover that you are hanging on by a thread.
You clever little minx you, no one will ever guess that you are a quarter away from losing your job due to poor performance by being as vague as possible!
I’m extremely awkward and have no idea how to talk to grown ups.
Perfect ploy for those that have not graduated to the adult conversation arena: vague, non-committal responses. Continuing in this way will guarantee you a short evening just in time for you to get back home, rock out to some Michael Bolton, play a few games on the Atari before the Happy Day’s reruns come on and you can slip into you leather’s to pretend to be the Fonz – Aaaaay.
Yes, I suppose there are situations that call for using a flat introduction. Thank goodness those that cling to these elevator speeches, per say, as they allow others in the room to move on to those that actually want to engage in conversation.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.