Women’s advocate and speaker, Shari Graydon, recently spoke to the Council of Women Executives about the importance of speaking up and making an impactful first impression.

Author of OMG! What if I Really Am the Best Person? The top 7 reasons why women should speak up, Shari offered key tips for women who want to drive their careers through better networking, by breaking down the four essential parts of an introduction:

  1. Be Concise – Your introduction only needs to be 2-3 sentences to get the conversation started.
  2. Be Accessible – Make sure that your introduction can be easily understood by your audience. Don’t overcomplicate things, and lose the industry jargon and acronyms when interacting with those outside of your field.
  3. Be Concrete – If your role is not tangible, describe it in a way that the other person can easily envision.
  4. Be Impactful – Provide an outcome that demonstrates the impact or the results of your work.

Shari believes that women need to have a more active voice. She shared with the group that when it comes to news stories and media interviews women are largely under-represented, with men accounting for more than 70% of the quotes. Through Informed Opinions, Shari works to help women amplify their voices through increased media engagements. She also encourages executive women to become a part of the ExpertWomen.ca database, in order to help close the gender gap by showcasing women’s perspectives across all Canadian media outlets.

Founded by Jane Griffith, a partner at Odgers Berndtson, The Council of Women Executives is a group of senior women from various industries in Toronto focused on professional development topics and issues. Members include women from companies such as Metrolinx, RBC and universities like Ryerson and University of Toronto. For more information about the council, please contact Jane, you can also follow Jane on Twitter @GriffithJane.

The women from The Council of Women Executives listening to Shari’s insights

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