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How to Introduce Yourself after Military Service, Part 2

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Introductions are everything in the civilian sector and it can be tricky to learn how to do them just right. Having an effective introduction can be simpler than you might think. Last week, we highlighted why we are ready to ditch the pitch (the elevator pitch, that is).

This week we will be wrapping up how to answer the question “So, what do you do?”

Practice Makes Perfect

There are many ways to answer this question. One of the primary issues is that you need to practice. People often get uncomfortable talking about themselves. This can be especially true for those who have a military background because they are so used to being a member of a team.

It’s okay that it is uncomfortable, but that’s why you need to practice. Look in the mirror and practice your introduction. Dedicate a good chunk of time to practicing it until it feels natural. Then, try to make sure you practice saying it at least once a week.

Like any muscle, this skill will get weaker the longer you go without exercising it.

A Simple Formula

Sometimes, short and sweet really is the way to go. A quick introduction that catches someone’s attention will make them more likely to remember you and may generate an organic conversation. In the end, that will go a lot further in terms of building trust than a rushed elevator pitch ever could.

Clay Hebert recommends organizing your introduction around the following simple formula:

[I] [help] [whoever you serve] [achieve this result].

Clay has a lot of great in-depth advice on how you can tweak this to make it phenomenal, but the basic formula is a great place to start. (If you’d like to learn more, check out this video Clay made with us.)

For example, at ADU we help transitioning service members find a smooth transition into their dream job.

Other examples could include: “I help people make better connections” or “we teach people how to meditate” or “I help Texas veterans learn what’s possible.”

Trust us – this one-sentence introduction will move the needle more than any elevator pitch. How would you answer the question “So, what do you do?” Leave your answer in the comments below!

schuyler@americandreamu.org

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