Introductions can be confusing so here are some effective tips for greater confidence. If you’re hosting an event or in charge of introducing several people to each other, your goal is to help everyone feel comfortable to continue their conversation once you walk away.  The best approach is to…

  • Use a “conversational starter.”   Example:  “Dr. Johnson, I would like you to meet Sally Smith.  Sally, this is Dr. Ken Johnson, head of the psychiatry department at the Med Center.  Sally has just moved to town from Phoenix.”  Both first and last names have been given as well as one item about each person that the other one can start a conversation with.
  • If introducing a married couple with different last names, you may say,  “Dr. Barbara Taylor and her husband, Brian Jones.”

When introducing two people during business:

Introduce the person with the “least important” title (regardless of gender) to the person with the most important title.  For example: Mr. or Ms. Greater Authority, I would like to introduce you to Mr. or Ms. Lesser Authority.  This usually refers to saying the company president’s name before the sales rep.  When introducing someone to an individual from another company, the one with the “highest position” is actually the guest, or client…even if he/she holds “lower” title.

Introductions should be brief.  “How do you do?” or “Hello” is fine.  If you can’t remember someone’s name, reintroduce yourself and they will often say their name again.  If they don’t, say something like, “We met at last month’s marketing conference at the Embassy Suites.  I apologize but I don’t remember your name.”  They should offer it to you at that point.  If they still don’t, just smile and say, “I apologize but I don’t remember your name.”

The main thing is to lean slightly forward, give a warm handshake, smile and be totally sincere and engaged in getting to know them.


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