Introducing Yourself to an Individual
Make eye contact. Eye contact shows that you're engaged in the interaction, as well as
displaying confidence. If you're not comfortable looking straight into someone's eyes, stare
at the point between their eyebrows - they won't notice the difference.
Smile. It is important to keep a genuine, bright smile (and fresh breath, too). Your smile is
your best icebreaker - it draws people in.
Offer a handshake. A firm handshake, once again, demonstrates your self-confidence. Get
the grip just right, though - you don't want break the other person's hand. Try squeezing
slightly with your fingers and not your thumb, and release the handshake after two or three
Reveal a little bit of your background. It depends on the context of the conversation, but
start off by telling the other person something about yourself. You may tell a little bit of your
background in order to start your conversation. Telling someone where you work and your
title is appropriate and may lead to many conversation topics.
Close the conversation. After you've met someone for the first time, you should end the
conversation by restating that you enjoyed meeting them. If the interaction was formal, say
something like "Mrs. Jones, I'm delighted to have met you. I hope we can talk again soon."
If your conversation was informal, you could say "It was great meeting you, Jane. Hope to
see you around."
Focus on the positive. An introductory conversation is no time to say negative things about
yourself or someone else.
Don't speak when your mouth is filled with food.
Keep your focus on the person you are meeting - give them the respect you would like to
If your hands tend to get sweaty, wipe them on a napkin before beginning the introduction.
Don't look away or act distracted - it will make you look bored or uninterested.
When you're reading for your course, you need to make sure you're actively involved with
the text. It's a waste of your time to just passively read, the way you'd read a thriller on
Always make notes to keep up your concentration and understanding.
Here are four tips for active reading.
Underlining and highlighting
Pick out what you think are the most important parts of what you are reading. Do this with
your own copy of texts or on photocopies, not with borrowed books.