Introductions are an important social and professional skill, and everyone can benefit from learning the proper way to do an introduction. Whether you are introducing two or more people to each other, introducing a new idea or concept in a meeting or need to introduce yourself to others, preparing and practicing different introductions can make you feel more confident when it is time for you to do one. In this article, we discuss how to prepare and deliver a great introduction with tips and examples.
What are introductions?
An introduction is a polite method of starting a conversation and establishing a connection between yourself and someone else or between two or more people you know who don't know each other. Introductions explain who the person you are introducing is and what the people you are introducing them to need to know about them.
Importance of introductions
Introductions are important because they help people feel comfortable around each other. When you are meeting someone you don't know for the first time, an introduction can help you start a conversation with someone you don't know, expand your professional network and create a positive first impression of who you are. When you are introducing two or more people to each other, a great introduction can lead to a meaningful discussion and a lasting connection being built.
How to do introductions
Follow these steps to deliver a great introduction:
- State the name of the person you are making an introduction to.
- Inform them of your intent.
- State the name of the person who is being introduced.
- Offer additional information, as appropriate.
1. State the name of the person you are making an introduction to
The polite way to begin an introduction is to start with the name of the person you are making the introduction to. In most situations, this is the person who is older, has a higher-ranking position or that you have known the longest. You can skip this step if you are introducing yourself to someone you are meeting for the first time and you don't know the other individual's name.
2. Inform them of your intent
The next statement you make should inform both parties of your intent to introduce them to each other. Here are a few examples of statements you can use to inform others you are making an introduction:
- "I would like you to meet..."
- "It's a pleasure to introduce..."
- "I would like to introduce..."
- "I would like to present..."
- "May I introduce..."
- "May I present..."
- "This is..."
- "My name is..."
The statement you choose to use in this step may change based on the individuals you are introducing and the setting where the introduction is taking place.
3. State the name of the person who is being introduced
After informing the parties of your intent to make an introduction, state the name of the person you are introducing. In most situations, this is usually the younger person, has a lower-ranking title or who you know the least about. If you are introducing more than two people to each other, state the name of each person in ranking order beginning with the highest rank and working your way down.
4. Offer additional information, as appropriate
Finally, offer both parties information about each other that can help them establish a connection or begin a conversation. You can use details such as common interests both parties share, your relation to each party or how long you have known each person for.
Examples of introductions
Here are a few examples of good introductions you can use in a variety of situations:
- Introducing professionals or colleagues of different ranks
- Introducing a business professional or yourself to a customer or client
- Introducing people in casual and social settings
- Introducing one person to a group of people
Introducing professionals or colleagues of different ranks
When you are introducing business professionals or colleagues of different ranks to each other, it is usually best to introduce the person who has the least amount of experience or who has the lower-ranking title within the organization or industry to the person who has the most amount of experience or who has the higher-ranking title. If you are introducing yourself in a professional setting, it is usually best to state your first and last name along with your title. Here are a few examples:
- "Mr. Roberts, I would like you to meet Ms. Catherine Lee. Ms. Lee is joining our organization as an administrative assistant. Catherine, Mr. Roberts has been with our organization since its founding eight years ago. He started in an entry-level position and is now our sales director."
- "Hello, Mrs. Lewis, my name is Peter Mendoza. I am interning as an account executive in the recruiting department. It is a pleasure to meet you."
As these examples show, the additional information you provide during a professional introduction usually relates to each person's title or amount of time spent within the organization or industry.
Introducing a business colleague or yourself to a customer or client
When you are introducing a business colleague or yourself to a customer or client, always begin by addressing the customer or client first. This is the professional standard even when you are introducing clients or customers to high-ranking members within your organization. For example:
- "Miss Nelson, I am pleased to introduce you to our head of account management, Mrs. Morgado. Mrs. Morgado, Miss Nelson has just signed a one-year contract with our organization for social media management and content creation for the local restaurant she owns, Trendy Meals and Treats."
- "Mr. Gomez, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Ms. Taylor King. Ms. King is the certified personal trainer you will work with to achieve your goals. Ms. King, this is Mr. Gomez. His goal is to create a healthy meal plan and find a safe and effective exercise plan to help him lose excess weight and build his muscles."
Introducing yourself or your colleague to the client is a sign of respect and understanding of the customer's importance to the organization's success.
Introducing people in casual and social settings
When you are introducing friends, colleagues or family members to each other in a casual or social setting, it is usually best to introduce the person you have known for the least amount of time or that you know the least about to the person you have known the longest or with whom you have a stronger personal connection. If you are introducing yourself in a casual or social setting, it is usually acceptable to state only your first name or the name most people use to address you. Here are a few examples:
- "Grandpa, I would like you to meet my friend, Heather. We met in our after-school Junior Chemists Club and have become good friends since. Heather, this is my grandfather, Mr. Ward Adams. He has been a Chemist for 40 years and is the person who inspired my passion for Chemistry."
- "Douglas, I would like to introduce you to Victoria and Arthur. I met them at a recent football game. Victoria is a cheerleader and Arthur is a linebacker for my school's team. Victoria and Arthur, Douglas has been my best friend for seven years. Football is his favorite sport and I'm sure he would enjoy talking to you both about the game."
- "Hi Kevin, my name is Antonio. I've heard a lot of good things about you from our mutual friend, Tiffany. It is a pleasure to finally meet you."
These examples show how providing additional information about your relationship with the people you are introducing to each other can help them identify a topic of conversation they can share an interest in.
Introducing one person to a group of people
When you are introducing one person to a group of people, the order of introduction may not begin with the highest-ranking person. Instead, it is common to begin these introductions by first addressing the group and then introducing them to the individual person. For example:
- "Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the Founder and CEO of Tasty Sweets, Mrs. Rachel Malloy."
- "Emily, Luis and Trent, I would like to introduce you to my grandmother, Mrs. Joan O'Malley."
In each of the above examples, the person who is being introduced is the higher-ranking individual. But beginning the introductions by addressing the group first allows the person making the introduction to ensure they have the attention of the entire group before they make the introduction.
Here are a few general tips to remember when doing an introduction:
Know who you're introducing and to whom you're introducing them
The person you choose to make the introduction to is usually the one you wish to show the greatest amount of honor or respect.
Make eye contact with both parties
Begin by making eye contact with the person you speak to first, then turn and make eye contact with the other person as you finish the introduction.
Speak slowly and clearly
This makes it easier for the people you are introducing to understand and remember each other's names and the details you provide about each party. It is also important to make sure you pronounce each person's name correctly when making an introduction.
Offer a handshake
When you're introducing yourself to someone you are meeting for the first time, extend your hand to offer to shake their hand. This is a sign of respect and courtesy.
Use titles when appropriate
In more formal or professional settings, it is best to use each person's title before stating their name, such as "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Miss" or "Dr." In a more casual or social setting, it may be appropriate to leave out each person's title.