a special thank you to Greg Dalton for submitting the suggestion
to write about proper introductions. It is a subject I am
asked about often; yet to fully discuss it, can get a bit
involved. Therefore, to keep within the style intended for
this publication - brief, fun, and educational - this month's
tip is only
the core of proper introductions. For additional information
country specific, and diplomatic situations, please contact
me with your questions and I'll be happy to address them.
When performing introductions, here's what I call my 2-step
golden rule to proper business introductions:
first person's name you say is always the most important
everyone else's name is introduced to that most
the most important person's name first. In business rank
and status are the primary determinants to who takes
precedence over whom. Gender and age are typically not
NEVER use the word "meet" when introducing people.
For example, read the following sentence and tell me who's
the CFO and who is the newly hired staff member. "Jane
Doe, I would like you to meet John Smith."
Which person is the most important person in this sentence?
Who sounds like the most important person? Is Jane or John
We just learned the most important person is the first person.
Yet by the way this sentence reads, it appears John is the
more important person of the two. So who's the CFO?
you use the word "meet" to
introduce someone, you will always throw the emphasis off
toward to the wrong
person, thereby falling out of protocol for a proper business
introduction. In my mind, throw that "m-word" out of your default
brain and mental dictionary of proper introductions.
Rather, for an informal introduction, use the words "this
is" as the bridge between saying the most important
person's name first and then introducing the second person. "Jane
Doe this is John Smith, our new staff member. Jane Doe is
Be careful not to get too wordy when using the word "introduce." For
instance, which of these three sentences are correct?
Doe may I introduce John Smith
Doe may I introduce to you Mr. Smith
Doe may I introduce you to John Smith.
is correct and best by using the fewest words; B is correct
although wordy; C is not correct, because by switching
the words "to you" to "you to" you
have again thrown the emphasis onto the wrong person.
the forms of the address equal. If you use Ms. Doe, you
must use Mr. Smith. You should not say, "Jane Doe
this is Mr. Smith."
regular situations, it is best to use both a person's
first and last name when making introductions. To use
first name is not introducing the total person.
say something about the people you are introducing so
they will have something from which to springboard their
own conversation. Then you may excuse yourself to meet
and greet others.
Whenever introducing dignitaries and other notable people,
such as elected officials, you may want to use the word "present" instead
of the words "this is" or "introduce." It
is the style most often used in diplomatic and international