How to Make a Proper Introduction
Have you ever questioned your introduction skills? If not, you should since making a proper introduction is a form of business etiquette and sets the tone for how others will perceive you. Learning proper introductions not only enhances your business savvy but boosts your self-confidence.
Four years ago, I was meeting with my boss, awaiting our guest. As our guest arrived, I escorted her to meet the boss. I’m an astute business professional who has worked with U.S. Senators, dignitaries, and CEOs; however, at this moment of introduction, all confidence flew out the window. They were both VIPs in the world of business so who do I introduce first: man or woman, boss or guest, older or younger, tall or short?
Honestly, it was all a glaze as I failed to make a proper introduction while feeling like a dried up raisin in the sun. At that moment, I vowed to improve my business savvy and learn how to make a proper introduction to exude competency and confidence. Making a proper introduction demonstrates your level of acumen and respect for others.
Like the old adage goes, “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression,” which includes making a proper introduction. When you lose your self-confidence, it’s conveyed in your posture, facial expressions, intonation, attitude, and demeanor, so even if people never tell you, which they won’t, they recognize your mistakes and lack of confidence.
To avoid feeling socially awkward and to present a poised, polished, and professional image upon meeting and making introductions, here are eight guidelines to follow:
- Introduce people in business based on rank, not gender or age.
- In business, the client, guest or visitor outranks the boss or co-worker and should be introduced first.
- Women and men should stand when introduced. Always smile and maintain eye contact.
- Shake a woman and man’s hand the same, straight up and down. Extend a good, firm (not painful) handshake to exhibit respect, trust, and acceptance.
- Keep the forms of address equal to avoid differential treatment or the appearance of preferential treatment.
- Never use an honorific such as Ms., Mr., or Dr. to introduce yourself.
- Demonstrate professionalism and credibility by clearly stating your full name.
- Do not call a person by his or her first name when meeting or being introduced for the first time. Use their title and last name until invited to be on a first-name basis.
Maintaining a competitive edge in the business world differentiates you from the competition. The most important advice I can give you is to keep learning and enhancing your business and social skills to boost your success with etiquette.