Introducing yourself to a group of strangers in real life is scary. Introducing yourself to thousands—or even millions—of strangers online is just as scary. It’s not easy putting yourself out there in front of a large group of people. It’s important to remember everyone feels nervous in this situation though. Once you break the ice, all of your nerves will subside. Here’s how to introduce yourself to a new professional community:
First, take a moment to acknowledge your fears—and then take a few minutes to talk them down. Positive self-talk decreases stress in stressful situations. Not sure how to begin? These are a few good examples from LifeHack.
• I’m awesome because __________.• I’m proud of myself because __________.• Even though _______ didn’t work out, I am moving forward.• One of my strengths is _________
Take a moment to practice, and jot down, what you want to say. Preparing is always a good idea when you’re about to make a first impression. What do you want to say to this community? Do you want to tell them about your journey to becoming a member of the community? Maybe you want to tell them where you live so you can connect with fellow members in your city. Take time to prepare your introduction.
What role will you play in the community? What talents and gifts do you have to offer that are relevant to your community? Are you an excellent cook and can host monthly meetings? Tell them!
Asking a question in your introduction is a great way to engage fellow members. Maybe ask if there are other people near your city or hometown you can connect with offline. Or ask for a recommendation that members in your new community are experts in.
Finally, while this is cheesy advice, it never fails those who take it: be yourself. If you’re funny, be funny in your introduction. If you’re an introvert and this introduction was really hard for you, share that with your new community—someone else will be able to relate.