Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. I work downstairs in business development. Can I pitch you some ideas over lunch?
Ally McLean, CEO of mentorship program The Working Lunch, invented a clever mnemonic for properly introducing yourself inspired by the honorable swordsman in The Princess Bride.
To introduce yourself to people more confidently and meaningfully, you should model your introduction after Inigo Montoya’s famous line in The Princess Bride: “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” With these three sentences, Inigo:
Greets his new contact
Explains how he and his contact are connected
Sets the tone and purpose of the encounter
Any time you introduce yourself, in person, over email, or on the phone, you should do the same. If you hate making phone calls or meeting people, it’s super helpful to prepare an opening line that covers those four points.
It works in a professional setting:
Hi, this is Nick! I work at Lifehacker, the how-to site. I’m writing about how to be a rodeo clown. I saw a video of your work at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, and I wanted to get some tips from you.
It works more casually:
Hey, I’m Norm, I’m a regular here. I haven’t seen you in the bar before, can I buy you a beer?
Normally this stuff is a no-brainer. It comes in use when you’re flustered, when you’re in a new or intimidating situation and you forget basic things. It even works in a roomful of strangers, assuming you have some reason to be there with them.
The Working Lunch is a mentorship for underrepresented people in the games and tech industries of Australia and New Zealand. McLean included the Inigo Montoya tip at a Working Lunch presentation, and tweeted the relevant slide from her now-private account. It pops up online every few months, often uncredited. So next time it goes around, you’ll know who started it: a true professional networker.