I was cleaning a bookshelf in my office and discovered a book on etiquette. I’m not sure where or when I picked up this little gem, but there it was sitting on the shelf just minding its business. Naturally I flipped through the book to see what silly things I was doing right or wrong, and I was surprised to find some interesting stuff.
The majority of etiquette is common sense (I hope), but using proper etiquette is a balancing act of being polite, displaying a welcoming attitude, and making others feel comfortable. Sounds simple enough, right?
One section in particular grabbed my interest in reference to introductions. In the business world, writer’s groups, and other professional groups I meet a lot of people. I have always been under the impression “Hello, I’m Lisa Heartman” was my introduction, but discovered it is so much more than that.
A proper introduction, according this is book, should include your name and a brief description of what you do or services you offer to entice people into a conversation. Equally as important are your handshake and body language. She goes on to recommend having a few different introductions for different situations. I thought with the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference quickly approaching I should hone my introduction skills.
“Hello, my name is Lisa Heartman, a contemporary romance writer that likes to get to the heart of a story.”
“Hello, I’m contemporary romance writer Lisa Heartman.”
“Hello, I’m Lisa Heartman, contemporary romance writer and vice president of programs for the Desert Rose RWA chapter.”
"Hi, I'm Lisa Heartman. I write contemporary romance novels about the everyday side of romance."
“Hi, I’m Lisa Heartman, if you buy my contemporary romance novel I’ll bake you fudge brownies.”
Well none of these are perfect, but I have a few weeks to work on it. We all know the importance of a good first impression, and using proper etiquette is a great way to do that. It’s just a little something extra to help agents and editors remember me, and I’m okay with that.
Lisa Heartman writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels.