Being the new kid on the block is always a challenge. You can build a lot of anxiety just thinking about how to introduce yourself to a new team. There is a new environment that you need to accommodate to, new people you need to impress, and so on. What are you going to say? How are they going to react? Should I be formal and stick to a rehearsed speech or adopt a laid-back attitude and focus on the unofficial stuff? Questions, questions, questions…
But worry not, because I am here to show you how to introduce yourself to a new team. I am here to hopefully ease some of your anxiety and share some ideas that will not only help you get more confidence but also impress the people that you are talking to for the first time.
So…introductions. Are they important or not?
Well, according to pretty much every individual out there ( well not really, but most people can agree with me on this one ), first impressions are important. But how important are they? According to Forbes, first impressions are formed in minutes, if not seconds. Humans are quite judgemental wouldn’t you say? Given this, your best bet is getting people’s attention and jumping on their good side right from the get-go.
And let’s face it, first impressions are as important in business as they are in a casual social context, if not even more so. Employers and employees alike spend a great deal of time and resources perfecting their communication skills, because guess what? Making strong impressions that have an impact is one of the best ways to gain new clients. And being able to stand your ground and own the social situation that you are in conveys professionalism and suggests competence.
Steps? Which ones are right for you?
So how can you do it? How to introduce yourself to a new team or a potential client? How can you gain favor instantly and make an impeccable first impression?
What can you do? Go for the basics? Keep it simple? Or make it colorful and elaborate a lot? Which path is the ideal one? Which path will lead to a good first impression? Let’s do some examples…
Hi, my name is John and I usually like to pour my milk before my cereal.
Doesn’t exactly hit your ear right…( and not just because John’s a weirdo and goes for the milk first ). Well, the idea behind why this introduction is a hard pass has to do with the fact that in a lot of professional situations, jokes have a harder tendency to land where they should. Some people might find that remark plain stupid. And this is why a lot of people fail. Because they are incapable of grasping the context they are in. And this brings me to my first point.
1. Know Your Environment
Remember, relevance is key. You must always adapt yourself and tune it to your environment. In a professional context, you have to have in mind the rules and culture of your company. Base your introduction on these elements. Whether you opt for a casual style or a formal one, your name and job title should always be part of your introduction.
You can go for a simple statement such as Hi, I’m John, the new marketing consultant! Or expand a bit and offer a relevant fact about yourself or express a feeling: Hi, I’m John, the new marketing consultant and it’s a great pleasure to be part of your team!
In a more relaxed and laid-back setting, your introduction can vary a lot. You can give some extra information about yourself, like some hobbies you may have for instance: Hello! My name is Kristen and I am the new copywriter. My passion for writing is so big that in my free time I love to write poetry. Sometimes I have a hard time leaving my desk. This type of introduction works best when your work culture is a bit more on the easygoing side.
2. Have Your Attitude in Check
A second point on how to introduce yourself to a new team is to be mindful of your attitude and overall way of addressing others. Nobody likes somebody who is either grumpy or arrogant. A negative way of speaking will also have a negative impact on others. So, the best way to have a positive effect is to be enthusiastic about your current situation. You are now in a new position and this should excite you and drive your ambition to achieve great results. Make sure you have a big smile on your face and exude positive vibes. People will respond to this in the same manner and not only will you give a good impression but you will also build the base for your future workplace relationships.
Smile, stand straight, be focused, and look into people’s eyes when you speak. Don’t slouch or keep your head facing the ground. You are not in school and you are not being judged for what you are not. Relax and remember that people can read your posture and the tone of your voice. Speak with confidence and enthusiasm and you will be more than fine.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Appearance
Even though this tip might have you thinking “this is pretty obvious”, you might actually be surprised how many people disregard their look when it comes to team meetings and their work in general. I’ve seen a lot of situations where individuals would slap on the shirt they use around the house, some dusty pair of jeans, and call it a day. But not so fast…
Apparel, especially in a professional environment, can be one of your badges of honor so take some time before you get out of the house. There are some studies out there that showcase the power that clothes have and how they can influence whether you will be successful or not. Just think about how when preparing for a workout, putting your gym clothes on gets you in the right mood. Well, the same goes for professional attire.
Dressing the part will not only improve your performance, but it will also have a positive effect on others and this is even more impactful when you are meeting people for the first time. And you do want to make a good impression after all. This works for both a physical environment and a virtual one. You might think it’s silly to put on a suit when you are at home, but actually, the better you try to divide home life and work-life ( even when they are all in the same place ) the better it will be for you and your team.
4. Use Questions To Your Advantage
If you want to quickly get off the hook, you can always redirect the conversation with the use of questions. After all, every interaction has two ends, right? This is a simple trick that can lead to some useful and positive connections with your co-workers.
Confused about how you can do this? Here are some examples: Hi, my name is Elaine and I am your new graphic designer. So stoked to be part of this team and looking forward to what this journey has in store. And speaking of which, what are the current projects that you guys are working on? This is a smooth transition that can shift the focus of the conversation from you to the others. By doing this, you can spark a conversation, get everybody involved, and finish with your introduction fast and easily.
5. Use Gestures to Accompany Your Words
Do you know why talk show hosts and public speakers are good at what they do and are able to catch their audience’s attention? Because they have a good understanding of using their body to their advantage. Basically, people are visual beings to their core. They respond really well to anything they can follow with their eyes. So even though a speech has the ability to catch their attention if it’s well put together, gestures are what will keep their eyes on you at all times. And that’s important because you want your audience focusing on you and you alone.
6. Learn to Adapt
When introducing yourself to a new team, you need to keep a certain level of flexibility no matter how you approach your little speech. If you do everything on the spot and you receive some questions, don’t be tense and resent the fact that the situation took a different turn than you expected. Learn to adapt to your context and don’t forget you are part of a new environment now. Things are bound to be different. It is after all a new company and you are meeting new people for the first time. You need to accept all these transitions. The better you are at this, the more you will be able to excel later.
7. Don’t Overdeliver
A big mistake people make when they introduce themselves is overdelivering. Whether this comes in the form of sharing too many details about yourself or simply talking too much, it can really hurt your image, and that first good impression that you are looking for won’t come.
This works in most social contexts. If you are attending a party, talking too much about your professional life will bore people out of their minds. In a similar manner, when you are at work, oversharing details about your relationship with your husband is going to make people perceive you in a bad light. So don’t get super excited and remember: any information that’s too personal or doesn’t fit the context, you better leave it out.
8. Be present
A key element that a lot of people don’t take into consideration is being present in the moment. This is crucial. It will not only increase your ability to be lucid and perceptive, but it will also keep you prepared in case of questions or remarks. So before you start your introduction, take a moment, look around the room, connect with your audience, meet their eyes, and make sure you are grounded. Don’t be a digital zombie and put your phone away. Distractions will only keep you from achieving your full potential when you deliver your mini-speech.
9. Show A Little Vulnerability
Connecting with people can be hard and when you are introducing yourself for the first time there is usually a wall between you and your audience. How can you break that? Simple. By being vulnerable and showcasing some humanity. You can open up without oversharing so that people can connect with you better. Showcase some emotion, let them know you are nervous in a joking matter. Taking this approach will let others know that you are modest and can navigate social situations well without any angst.
And last but not least, prepare. A lot of people aren’t great with public speaking and get nervous just thinking they have to improvise something on the spot. If you fall into that category, worry not. You can take some time prior to your meeting and think about how to introduce yourself to a new team. Chances are, if you are reading this article, you already have your pen out and ready to draft some ideas. You can take some inspiration from this article and prepare a mock-up speech of your own. But make sure you are not too fixated on those ideas. It is highly important you leave some room for spontaneity in your speech. Being too focused on your draft can make you choke up during the actual meeting and you surely don’t want to be flustered in front of your future co-workers.
I hope these tips will help you and ease some of your nervousness when it comes to how to introduce yourself to a new team. Learning this is important and it will come in handy a few times during your professional career. After all, most jobs involve interacting with other people so the more times you practice the better you will be at communicating.
And even though what you learned today might not give you instant success ( after all, applying these tips can be a bit harder than you expect, especially if you are not an extrovert ), it will surely help you make a good enough impression on your colleagues.