Think about the last time you were at a professional conference or networking event. How did you introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met before?

Most likely your intro focused on where you work and what you do for a living. For example: “Hi, my name is Liz Leyland. I work for an employee communication firm called Davis & Company. As a project consultant, it’s my job to help my clients reach and engage their employees.”

Now as far as introductions go, this seems like a sensible start. It’s short, to the point and gives people a glimpse into who you are as a professional. But it’s missing something…something unique…something personal.

So how can you make your introduction more memorable? For inspiration, let me share my four-year old daughter’s “elevator speech” that she delivers to every person she meets: “Hi, my name is Abby. I have two kitties named Jackie and Sammie. On Friday, my best friend Molly kicked me. And a stingray splashed me in the face at the zoo.”

Can you imagine the look on peoples’ faces after they hear an introduction like that from a preschooler? (It’s awesome! I’m such a proud mama.)

While her elevator speech isn’t meant to build her professional network and may come off as a bit random, she is very successful in achieving one thing: people will remember her.

Why? She tells a compelling story about herself, including the people (and kitties) in her life and some interesting things she has experienced (i.e., the stingray incident). Her story doesn’t focus on her academic career and accomplishments, but snapshots of what makes her life unique.

Now imagine taking this unconventional, yet personal, approach the next time you meet someone at a conference.

Try this elevator speech on for size: “Hi, my name is Liz Leyland. I have a four-year old daughter who loves My Little Pony and listening to Queen. Last month, my family went to Scotland and visited the castle where my husband proposed to me. And when I’m not jet setting and rocking out with my daughter, I help organizations make meaningful connections with their employees.”

How you present yourself to the world isn’t just about where you work or what you do, it’s about who you really are. So channel your inner preschooler and tell a compelling story about yourself that people won’t forget.

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