I am involved with a lot of different organizations, which means I attend many meetings with people I don’t know very well. Often these meetings start with the task of everyone going around the room and introducing themselves. For me this is a painful process: Since many people like hearing themselves talk, these introductions can take a significant amount of time away from the meeting. It isn’t that I don’t want to know who these people are and what they do, but an unscripted introduction is not the best way to gain this information.
If you are hosting a large meeting where you believe introductions are necessary, you should provide a list of attendees with short bios or at least titles and contact information for the participants. Additionally, provide nametags, which make it easy for people to strike up a conversation before the meeting if they like. These two steps will save you lots of time and keep me from pulling my hair out!
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