Having excellent etiquette seems to sometimes be like a thing of the past. My husband was taught proper etiquette from birth I think and it’s been amazing to watch him in is business and to see how he is respected with his business associates. Cory can be a little rough around the edges but he was taught good etiquette including how to introduce people properly and how to give a proper handshake. These two things tell a lot about a person!
The first time someone meets another person is rather important. You never know when that meeting will resonate through the ages and matter. You may be introducing two people that end up forging a partnership that develops the next space shuttle adventure. You could be introducing another Romeo and Juliet. You might even be introducing two best friends for the first time. Introductions are rarely done properly and there are consequences for this lack of etiquette. Poorly executed or nonexistent introductions can hurt feelings, send mixed signals and even keep two people that were meant to know one another apart. Here are some important tips to introduce folks with etiquette and class:
Who do you address first?
Many people are uncertain of who to address first but it is rather easy to know. If one of the two are family members, address them first. If you are addressing two non-family members, address the elder first. If you are introducing anyone to a group, start with the group names first. It is that simple. There are some more formal examples, but in day to day conversations this is sufficient. (Let me know if you bump into any Royalty and we can go over the other details.)
Speak clearly, look in the eyes and smile
If you mumble, look at the floor and frown when you introduce someone, the introduction is going to start off kind of slow. Be excited to introduce these two dynamic personalities and don’t be afraid to show it. It will help them feel as though they are meeting someone exciting as well.
Use common sense with names
If someone has a formal title such as Doctor, Queen or King, then by all means use it. Otherwise a first and last name introduction will do. If you don’t know the last name of one person, then don’t use last names with the other person either. If you are teaching a child, then have them use Mr. and Mrs./Ms. unless they are introducing other kids.
Make a connection when possible
It is always a great idea to introduce folks by mentioning a commonality between them. For example, you might say, “Randy Thomas, this is Samantha Stone. Samantha also enjoys sky diving without a parachute. You two would get along famously!”
Giving the two something to talk about is a great way to initiate conversation and make the introduction more comfortable. Shy, conservative types will genuinely appreciate the added information.
Finally, make certain that you hang around for a bit after the introduction. Not every introduction is going to go well and for better or worse, you will be connected because of the intro. If conversation turns for the worst, be there to throw them a life vest of some kind. If you are no longer needed, that will become apparent rather quickly and you may proceed on your way at your leisure.
Great introductions are rather easy unless you are in a heavily formal situation. If you follow these basics, you will be good to go in most any situation.