Master the Art of Professional Introductions!
Are you one of the many fresh graduates who are lost for words when introducing themselves or you're just the office newbie who stuttered in helping two people get to know each other over a business meeting? Either way, this will help you stop stressing over handshakes or who should be introduced to whom.
Knowing the proper way to introduce yourself and others is a skill that's useful in both inside and outside the corporate setting so it's not something you should take for granted. It can make or break your chances of making a great first impression! That said, it is important to learn how to combine the right words with the appropriate social etiquette to score an excellent introduction, especially in the business setting.
Here are some essential tips to consider in mastering the art of introduction:
When introducing yourself
Make eye contact with the person and extend your right hand to offer a handshake. Eye contact shows respect and an awareness of proper interpersonal skills.
Grip the person's hand firmly (but not too hard) and introduce yourself by saying your name, position, and company/organization. For example: "Hi, I'm Karla, a Marketing Officer for Dynamic Technologies."
Listen to the other person's introduction and pay close attention to their names. Make sure to get the correct pronunciation of both first and last names. You can ask for clarification if needed. Say, "Would you please repeat your name for me? I want to make sure that I will pronounce it correctly."
Once introduced, use the person's name several times during the conversation.
This technique dramatically increases memory retention. Remember: Repetition is powerful.
Follow up with "It's a pleasure to meet you" or a similar comment. If appropriate, hand the other person your business card.
When introducing others
In making introductions, it is important to know who should be introduced to whom. The basic protocol is to introduce the lower-ranking person to the one in the higher position first. In business, rank and status are the determining factors in who takes precedence over whom.
To begin the introduction, greet and state the name of the person with the most authority first. The higher-ranking person will be the one you'll be introducing the other person to.
Use phrases like "I would like to introduce", "I'd like you to meet" or "This is" when introducing the other person to the higher-ranking person.
State the name of the person being introduced; this is the 'lower-ranking' person. Make sure to offer the same details as you do from your self-introduction (name, position, and department or company/organization). Then, vice versa. You introduce the higher-ranking person to the other.
To help launch a conversation, mention an appropriate topic like common hobbies and interests for the two people to familiarize themselves with each other smoothly.
If you follow those steps, your spiel should sound something like this: "Good afternoon, Sir Dennis! I would like you to meet John, our new Junior Programmer at the IT Operations Group. John, this is Sir Dennis, he is the Senior Executive of the Management Group in our company. Like you, he is also fond of making music."
Now, given the general guidelines of business introduction etiquette, we hope you won't get shy on introductions. Welcome them. Practice them. Master them.