introduce-meeting-bird-officeHow many times have you been to a meeting in English? And how often have you stared at your pen, avoiding eye contact, as your colleagues Etienne, Thierry, Anne-Laure, and Marie stand up to introduce themselves.

Euh, Hello. My name is Etienne. I’m 39. I’m from Lyon and I’m in my job since 3 years. Euh, I, euh am project manager and I manage the France team. I went to university in Paris and…euh…I have 2 children…. Et voilé.

That sort of introduction in a meeting would make anyone uncomfortable. And poor Etienne surely knows that he can do better. After all, in French, he doesnt’ have any problems introducing himself. So what happens when his team has a meeting in English?

Why all of a sudden does he feel the need to say where hes’ from, where he went to university (nearly 20 years ago!), and how many children? What the…?!

So, if you know that youv’e got a meeting in English soon, spare your colleagues those uncomfortable 2 minutes. Dont’ make them feel like they have to play with their pens and keep their eyes down.

Heres’ how you can make one fantastic impression in the first minutes of the meeting, with a solid introduction.

1. First name first, last name last. Logical…

Right, you just have to remember which is which. Your first name is probably something like Emilie, Charlotte, or Romain. If it helps you remember, your First name is what your Friends call you. Your last name might be Dubois, Leroy, or Moreau. If, however your name is something like Arthur Bernard, Thomas Simon, or Robert Michel, people will probably mix your names up anyway.

2. Your role in the company, in just a sentence or two

Yes, its’ impressive to say how many people you manage, how many projects your’e working on and how many times you save the boss every week. Save it for the coffee break. When you introduce yourself in a meeting, just one or two sentences about your role in the company is sufficient.

3. A little bit of your career history, but just a little bit.

Again, you wont’ impress anyone by talking about all the different evolutions youv’e had since you started in the company. We dont’ need to know where you went to school, either, as its’ probably so far in the past that the clothes you wore are in style again. Just say how long youv’e been in the company, in your current position, and maybe how long youv’e been on a specific project if thats’ relevant.

4. Why you too have to sit through yet another meeting

No, not because you forgot to water the department yucca. Not because you accidentally broke the copy machine. Tell the other participants why your’e at the meeting. Are you going to present some key information? To make sure that everyone understands the new regulations? To get your colleagues ‘ideas on how to repair that copy machine? Whatever the reason, let your colleagues know your role in the meeting.

Put it all together, and tah-dah! The perfect introduction to start your meeting. Just compare these two introductions: The one from the beginning of this article, and the new and improved version.

Before :

Euh, Hello. My name is Etienne. I’m 39. I’m from Lyon and I’m in my job since 3 years. Euh, I, euh am project manager and I manage the France team. I went to university in Paris and…euh…I have 2 children…. Et voilé.

After :

Hello, my names’ Etienne Legrand. I’m the project manager for the France team. That means I coordinate our teams in the Lyon, Paris, Bordeaux, and Nice sites. I’ve been working at Bird Office since 2005 and I’ve been project manager since 2011. Today, Il’l give you an update on the timeline and talk about the future milestones. Thanks.

Woohoo! Etienne aced his introduction. And now, its’ your turn…

Before you go, click here to watch this technique in action!

An American living in France since 2004, Christina coaches clients to better communicate in English through face-to-face and distance training programs. With her YouTube channel Speak Better, Feel Great TV, she is on a mission to boost the English level of French people everywhere. Sign up and youl’l get a free video lesson every week!

Share this postTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Share on Facebook0