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How to shine at work - Storytelling about yourself

Great storytellers who sell extraordinary vision sometimes still struggle with storytelling about themselves. They want to appear humble rather than boasting. But there are ways to approach storytelling about yourself to make it feel natural. Learn the 4 ways to introduce yourself.
How to shine at work - Storytelling about yourself
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com / Unsplash

Why talk about yourself? 🎙️

Almost every interaction starts with an introduction.

So, being able to talk about yourself is helpful in many situations, including but not limited to:

  1. Job interviews
  2. Self-introduction at Events
  3. Media interviews
  4. Self-introduction in online communities

Why is it so hard to talk about yourself? ⁉️

Great storytellers who sell extraordinary vision sometimes still struggle with storytelling about themselves. They want to appear humble rather than boasting. But there are ways to approach storytelling about yourself to make it feel natural.

The 4 ways to introduce yourself 🎤

In business, the standard approaches for self introduction are:

  1. The Accomplishment List 📝
  2. The Personal Story 🏰
  3. The Ice Breaker 🧊

While these approaches are common, they are not the best. The best way to introduce and talk about yourself is to take elements of all three and turn them into:

4.   The Narrative 📖

(1) The Accomplishment List 📝

This approach is the most popular. By way of introduction, Joe would say, “I studied Engineering, then I worked at Uber as an engineer. After that, I moved into Engineering management. Next, I went to work for AirBnB, spent three years there; we went IPO. And then I started my own company. We raised $5M, and now we have 50 people.”

This format works to establish formal credibility. It is handy for those with big brand names on their resume. It’s a brief, bulleted list. But it’s not memorable. When the next person starts, you quickly forget what the previous person said.

(2) The Personal Story 🏰

The personal story establishes your personal values. It demonstrates your approach to life.

For example, Jane would say, “I’m an athlete, and I take an athlete’s approach in my leadership. I’ve completed three triathlons and am now training for my 4th. I believe in training and showing up prepared. I always coach my team to do the same.”

Notice how Jane demonstrates how she lives her values.

This method is a great approach for interviews during the portion where they ask about your values and approach, but fall flat in networking introductions.

(3) The Icebreaker 🧊

The Icebreaker establishes new lines of communication. Small, personal factoids pique the audience’s interest. These are often admissions of minor, relatable, or personal shortcomings.

For example, Jerry might say, “Hi everyone, my name is Jerry, and I love traveling. Although I bet, you will never guess what the most memorable trip I took was. Any guesses? It was actually Arkansas. Until I went, I never knew it hosted the US’s only active diamond mine, and what an experience that was! I’m sure you discovered some unlikely places which surprised you too! What are some of those?“

The Icebreaker is not about sharing one’s approach to life. Instead, it establishes common ground and inspires others to share. It is a strategy for establishing a more informal relationship, especially when there is a power imbalance in the room.

(4) The Narrative 📖

The best way to introduce and talk about yourself is to take elements of all three approaches above and turn them into a narrative.

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