Who ARE You?


April 29, 2013

who-are-you11I recently stumbled upon an online video interview of a business professional.  The first thing the interviewer asked was for the interviewee to introduce himself.  It was shocking.  This individual did not have a brief, 30- 60 second sound bite to describe who he was.  Worse yet, the interviewer let him stumble though this lack of preparedness without much help.

I started searching through YouTube.com for other interviews to see if this was an anomaly or if people really do not understand the importance of a good, strong introduction.  It’s definitely the latter.

How about you?  Do you have your elevator speech ready?  What do you say when you meet someone new?  What critical information do you give?

If you don’t have anything prepared, here are a few things you can think about to get you started.  I’ll use myself as the example.

  • Name-  “Hi, I’m Trish McFarlane.”
  • Job/ Profession-  “I’m a Director at Perficient in St. Louis, MO.”
  • Type of Company- “Perficient is an IT consulting firm.”
  • Any additional career related info-  “In addition, I am a writer, professional speaker and HR consultant.  I author the HR Ringleader blog, co-founded the Women of HR blog and co-founded the HRevolution  conference.  I also speak and consult about Human Resources, Social Media and Communications.”
  • Throw in the personal info–  “I’m also a mom of nine year old twins.  I love supporting them in their school and sports.”

All that only takes a minute or so to tell someone, yet concisely summarizes who I am and what I do.  It is a very important skill to have though because it may be the only chance you have to make an impression on that person.

So, WHO ARE YOU?  Tell me in the comments….


  • Trish wise counsel, the only change I would recommend is to start with who you are as a person as that is the most important thing

  • Yes good point Trish, I agree this is very important but seldom done very well (need to brush up on my own actually…). A good tip I have heard is to talk about the value you provide people/customers rather than focus on activities as this is more important to the listener and probably more interesting for you (therefore is more likely to come across naturally enthusiastically). E.g. I used to work in novated leasing, so a good description was “I help people drive the car they want and save money on tax!” Sounds more appealing than “I work for a novated leasing company.”

  • Good points. I agree with starting with how I provide value. I might say, “I’m Greg Sparzo, I’m in the business of matching extraordinary executives with cool companies…”

    It invariably starts a conversation about how they are extraordinary and their companies, cool.

Comments are closed.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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