How to work the room at the GIANT conference, part 2: What’s your one-line self-introduction?


work the roomHere’s the second in a series of tips for making the most of your experience at the GIANT conference taking place this week in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. In case you missed the first one, it’s over here.

was going to call it “your personal elevator pitch”, but that sounded a little too Silicon Valley (the TV show or the real place, take your pick) for me. So I’m calling it “your one-line self-introduction”.

A one-line self-introduction is simply a single-sentence way of introducing yourself to people you meet at a conference. It’s more than likely that you won’t know more than a handful of attendees and introducing yourself over and over again, during the conference, as well as its post-session party events. It’s a trick that Susan RoAne, room-working expert and author of How to Work a Room: The Ultimate Guide to Making Lasting Connections In-Person and Online teaches, and it works. It’s pretty simple:

  • Keep it short — no longer than 10 seconds, and shorter if possible. It’s not your life story, but a pleasantry that also gives people just a little bit about who you are.
  • Make it fit. GIANT’s tagline is “the conference for people who do rad work”. It should give people a hint of the rad work that you do (or, if you’re slogging it out in the hopes of doing rad work someday, the rad work you intend to do.)
  • Show your benefits. Rather than simply give them your job title, tell them about a benefit that your work provides in a way that invites people to find out more. Susan RoAne likes to tell a story about someone she met whose one-liner was “I help rich people sleep at night”. That’s more interesting than “I’m a financial analyst”.

Here’s the one-liner I’m thinking of going with: “I’m a rock and roll accordion player, but in my side gig, I help Fortune 500 companies with mobile and write mobile apps.”

I have an even better introduction for my accordion: “This? It’s social hardware.”

See you at GIANT!

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