Introductions are a great way to make friends, but you have to put in some effort first. Here’s how!
“how to make a professional introduction” is a question posed by someone who wants to know how to make an introduction. The answer given is that introductions should be made in person, with the person you’re introducing yourself to.
Have you ever been to a party with a man who runs into someone he knows and begins yammering as you uncomfortably stand there clutching your drink? I despise it when it occurs. You’ve been thrown into a social quagmire. I normally have to take matters into my own hands and introduce myself, which is OK, but the interaction would have gone much more smoothly if my buddy had introduced me to his friends beforehand.
Making an introduction shows your respect for your visitor by inviting you into the discussion and making you feel like a member of the group. A person who fails to make an introduction feels overlooked and, well, uncomfortable. Making introductions is especially crucial in business situations because it establishes a respectful rapport, starts partnerships on the proper foot, and gives you the impression of being confident, prepared, and in command.
The gentlemanly introduction has vanished in our more casual world, but we’re here to help bring it back.
Making introductions used to be a much more formal event, with bowing, scraping, and a slew of regulations, but today, just remembering to do so separates you from the pack. So there’s no need to follow certain rules or be lyrical about it. It goes a long way to keep things simple and courteous, and all it takes is following one simple rule:
The Golden Rule
When making introductions, the fundamental ideal is courtesy and respect. By presenting the guy to the lady, you demonstrate chivalrous regard to ladies. By presenting the younger to the elderly, you demonstrate respect for your elders. In a corporate context, you show respect to higher-ups by presenting a lower-ranking employee to a higher-ranking employee. We’ve broken down this rule into a few simple examples below so you can see how it works.
Introductions to Businesses
Situation: Introducing various grades of business colleagues
- How to do it: Regardless of age or gender, introduce the person of lower status to the person of higher rank.
- “Mr. CEO, I’d like to present Mr. Frank Underling from accounting,” for example.
Situation: Introducing a customer and a business partner of any position.
- How to do it: Regardless of position, age, or gender, introduce the business colleague to the customer.
- “Mr. Client, please meet Andrew Smith, our Vice President of Marketing.”
Situation: Two equal-ranking business colleagues are introduced.
- How to do it: Introduce the person you’re not as familiar with to the one you’re more familiar with.
- Assume your boss, Foster Knight, is meeting with Cynthia Brown, the manager of the Detroit office. “Foster, I’d want you to meet Cynthia Brown, the manager of the Detroit Office.”
Introductions to People
Situation: A guy and a lady are introduced.
- How to do it: Meet the lady and introduce him to her.
- “Amanda, this is Jake Nelson, who has been assisting me in studying for the bar exam.”
(Note: In social situations, regardless of the participants’ ages, a man is always presented to a lady.)
Situation: A younger and an older individual are introduced (of the same sex)
- Introduce the younger person to the elder person in a friendly manner.
- “Mr. Mothballs, I’d want you to meet my buddy Roy,” for example. He’s my college roommate.”
Situation: A person and a relative are being introduced.
- How to accomplish it: Introduce the individual to a family member.
- “Dad, I’d want to present my girlfriend Carly,” for example.
Introduce one or more individuals and a group of people in this situation.
- How to accomplish it: Introduce the person to the group (s).
- “Sarah and Andy, I’d want you to meet Mike, Bruce, Jim, and Harvey,” for example.
Notes on how to introduce a group:
- Say everyone’s names slowly so your visitor has a better chance of remembering them.
- If you’re attending a small party, you may introduce your visitor to everyone. If you’re bringing a visitor to a huge party, just introduce them to the individuals with whom they’ll be seated or who strike up a discussion with the two of you. Don’t walk them around the room, introducing them to each and every individual.
What to Do If You’re Introduced
Remember that first impressions matter, so when meeting someone new, look them in the eyes, give a firm handshake (wait to see whether she offers her hand first when meeting a woman), and say something like:
- “I’ve been looking forward to seeing you for a long time.”
- “I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about you.”
- “It’s great to finally meet you.”
- “It’s wonderful to see you at long last.”
Then follow up with a conversation starter right away. “Rodger informed me that you’ve been preparing for a marathon the following week. “How’s it going?” says the narrator.
- When deciding whether or not to include a person’s title in an introduction, apply your common sense. Use titles like Mr., Mrs., Dr., etc. in formal contexts and when the individual has not granted you permission to use their personal name. A decent rule of thumb is to address the individual as you would ordinarily address them. If you’re presenting your boss and you name him “Mr. Cooper” at work, don’t call him Bob right away.
- For introductions, always stand up.
- When making introductions, be sure you know how to pronounce people’s names properly.
- Say something fascinating about the person you’re introducing so that the person you’re introducing will remember their name and be able to segue into conversation more easily. As follows:
- “James,” Sam says. I’d like to introduce you to Eddie Hill, a buddy of mine. Last week, Eddie caught a 20-pound bass.”
- “That’s wonderful!” exclaims James. Eddie, where were you fishing?
Boom. There was an instant connection.
- Remove your hat while being introduced or making an introduction outdoors and keep it off until you part ways.
- When meeting someone outdoors and wearing gloves, remove your glove before shaking his or her hand.
- What should you do if you’re presenting a visitor to another person and you can’t recall their name? “Have you met my buddy John?” ask the individual. “No, I haven’t,” the individual will hopefully respond. “My name is Sophia.”
For more on networking, listen to our podcast with John Corcoran:
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Introductions are a crucial part of any meeting. The best way to make introductions is to say who you’re introducing and why they should be introduced. Reference: how to introduce someone in a meeting.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you write a good introduction?
A: A good introduction should leave the reader with curiosity and wanting to read on. It is also important for it to be concise, as readers may have a busy schedule in which they dont want an introduction that will take up too much time out of their day.
How do you introduce someone example?
A: There are lots of ways to introduce someone. For example, you could start with a handshake, or by introducing yourself Hi there! Im ____.
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