by Marie Palacios

We have been told all our lives that “first impressions are the most important” or “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Keeping that in mind, the direction of a first time conversation can be set in the first fifteen seconds, or as long as it takes to share your name and either a professional or personal tag line.

Inevitably when I meet someone in my community it goes something like this:

“Hi! I’m Marie, the Executive Director of the Exploring Joara Foundation.”

Or perhaps I might begin with something along the lines of “Hi, I’m Marie…a friend of Mandy’s from Funding for Good.”

How we introduce ourselves really does impact the potential of any daily encounter.

We meet hundreds of people every day, whether it be at the bank, the grocery store, our child’s school/athletic event, a work seminar, or community activity.

Each person we encounter could be a potential advocate for the nonprofit we represent so introductions are play an important part in breaking the ice and building the basic foundation.

As a nonprofit director I am always looking for ways to support the nonprofit I have the privilege of serving. Because of this, I tend to share my business connection with community members because I feel they would have the interest and capacity to engage if I can introduce them to an exciting opportunity.

Keep this in mind the next time you are running daily errands or networking at a professional event. If you are aware of common ground with your new contact, that’s always going to be the best place to start. Otherwise, consider which conversation door you would like to open and go from there!

Sample tag lines:

1. I am a Funding for Good Consultant
2. I am a professional grant writer
3. I am the Executive Director of a nonprofit
4. I am _____’s husband/ wife/partner
5. I am _____’s father/mother/family member
6. I am a friend of Mandy’s
7. I am a community partner with _____ organization.
8. I am a member of _____ civic group/faith group/athletic group
9. I am an advocate for _________
10. I am a volunteer with _________

How many different ways can you think of to introduce yourself?

Keep growing for good!  –

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