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September 2001 - Meeting & Greeting

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John A. Kline, PhD jkline@klinespeak.com
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September 2001

Meeting & Greeting

I am a professor at Troy University just south of Montgomery in Troy, Alabama. You can visit TSU's web site at troy.edu The Troy "Trojans" open their football season at the University of Nebraska. The University has a strong sports program. And they have selected 30 of their young students to be "Trojan Ambassadors" to welcome people to sporting events. But the Trojan Ambassadors do much more. They also serve as hosts, guides, and ambassadors of good will when prospective students, parents, and VIPs visit the beautiful campus.

Recently my wife, Ann, and I talked with the Trojan Ambassadors about how to polish and fine tune their meeting and greeting skills. The twenty skills we talked about would be good for each of us to remember. Here is a copy of the handout we gave each of them.

  • Take the initiative.
  • Know how to shake hands and greet people.
  • Smile-it is a great rapport builder.
  • Establish eye contact-and maintain it.
  • Introduce yourself-first impressions count.
  • State your name clearly-make it memorable.
  • Get their name-repeat it to make sure you have it right.
  • Use the other person's name in conversation-people like to hear their names.
  • Talk about what interests them-they'll think you are a brilliant conversationalist.
  • Know that while most people will want to talk, some will not; respect their wishes.
  • If you can't answer their questions, don't bluff-tell them you'll get an answer. Listen carefully-people like those who listen to them; and you will learn things.
  • Ask open-ended questions-the kinds that promote conversation.
  • Be yourself, it got you where you are today and it will continue to serve you well.
  • Appear confident, yet remain humble-have a servant's heart and help others.
  • Be other directed-nice, kind, considerate of others.
  • Speak and behave as you would in front of the preacher or your rich spinster aunt.
  • Remember your manners-good manners are always appropriate.
  • Don't take yourself too seriously-life will be more fun and you will do better.
  • You represent TSU-do your best and you will be stellar performers.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

September 2001 - Meeting & Greeting
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