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Meeting introductions

Ever get bogged down with introductions at the start of a meeting? In this video Craig explains a simple technique to help them happen fast and positive.


This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hey it’s Craig Freshley, I’m about to start a meeting and I want to talk a little bit about opening introductions.

A lot of meeting leaders begin a meeting just like this by going around the table and asking everybody to say a few words about themselves. Now that can work well, but it also can turn into a bit of a disaster. Because here’s what happens. The first person….they don’t really know how much they’re supposed to say so they start saying the things that they think they’re supposed to say. And then the next person thinks, “Well, they talked about their kids and how long they’ve been on the job so I guess I should say that too.” But then they throw in a little bit more like what kind of car they have. And then the next person thinks, “Well if they said what kind of car they have, I should probably do that too.” And by the time you’ve gone all around the table, that last person is giving a five minute speech! And it’s very very hard to interrupt that momentum once it gets going.

So here’s a technique I use for introductions. I put some words up here on the screen and I say, “Okay, we’re going to go around the room and I would like every person to say your name, say your role, and one thing about our association that I’m proud of is blank.” Now you will want to change this sentence to match your particular meeting. I happen to be meeting with an association today and I want to start off on the positive.

But here’s the thing, it’s a “complete the sentence” and it’s a “one thing.” And I point that out and when I provide this structure. I’m giving people clear guidance on what to say and I might even model doing this to start with to show kind of how fast or how slow I want this done.

When I provide this structure for introductions we can go round the table pretty darn quick and we’re starting off a positive note already getting into our meeting.

That’s my tip for today, thanks for listening everybody.

2 thoughts on “Meeting introductions

  1. Good idea, Craig! We’ve all sat through those endless introductory circles; your tip will help me next time I’m in charge of something like that.

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