How to Master the Art of Introductions

Marilyn Regan
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

You’re hosting a party or going out with friends. You’ll be meeting with friends who will be meeting one another for the first time.

Who do you introduce first?

The thing to remember is you want to introduce the more distinguished person first. You will need to make introductions at some point. Weddings, conferences, funeral services, and family holidays are a few.

Unless you’re meeting the royal family, it isn’t that difficult and the rules are simple and easy to remember. And no, it doesn't seem important until you're in a situation where you don't know what you're doing.

It's like having the common sense to hold the door open for the person behind you. But when someone doesn't, they stand out. And not in a good way.

So, why not do it correctly?

The Etiquette of Introductions

The purpose of introductions is to show respect. You want two, or more, people to become acquainted with one another.

The underlying protocol is to introduce the lesser-ranking person, socially, professionally, or by age, first. Or to put it simply, introductions are made to the person you want to honor first. You’re familiarizing the more senior person with the less senior person.

It can be brief, but beyond the introduction, you may want to initiate a conversation between the parties. If the meeting is planned, doing a little homework to find a common interest can helpful.

If you’re bringing your college roommate home for the holidays and your grandmother is present, you will introduce your roommate to grandma before your parents. Then your mother. Then your father.

In business situations, clients are introduced first. Always. If the client is in the presence of the President and Vice-President, you present them to the President first.

And now that you know who, here’s how to make a proper introduction.

The Technique

Look at the person you’re speaking to when making an introduction. This is how they know they’re being introduced.

Speak clearly or and my mother used to say: enunciate. This means open your mouth and use your facial muscles.

Use formal language when making the introduction, e.g., “May I present…”

Always used the person preferred name when introducing them. For instance, if your cousin Robert goes by the name Bob, introduce him as Bob.

If there is a significant age difference, introduce the older person using their title and last name. Adults are introduced to children this way. It’s common nowadays for children to call adults by their first names. But not in making an introduction.

When introducing families, the last name only needs to be used once. Only use the last name again if a family member has a different one.

Introduce large groups first. This will help get their attention.

In general, women or anyone identifying as one, is given preference.

There. That wasn’t too difficult. Was it?

Now that you know who comes first, it will be fun to see if other people are aware of who to introduce first.

If anyone gets it wrong in the future, feel free to pass along my words of wisdom.

Happy introductions.

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

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Marilyn is a writer, yogi, spiritual medium and animal lover. She is a Bostonian in every sense and has the accent to prove it. She loves the ocean, the outdoors, wine, and sleeping in. She days what she means and doesn't waste words. Finally, she is mother to one son, two cats and has three grandchildren.


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