Welcome to my ClassyTip for this week which focuses on:
- Making Good Introductions - Tip #6
This week’s tip focuses on something that very few business people know how to do correctly, yet for those who do, it sets them apart as being more mature and influential – here it is.
Suppose an important client is visiting your corporate headquarters. You’re having a conversation when the president of your company walks into the room. It’s up to you to make the introductions. But whom do you introduce to whom? Which person’s name do you state first? Your client is important to you and your company, but certainly the company president is also important. Do you have a dilemma? Not if you understand the background of making introductions, which is basically, “The person with greater importance takes precedence.”
A quick history lesson, along with business and social rankings, will give you the clues you need to correctly introduce two or more people.
The rules of proper introductions started centuries ago when a visitor came into a king’s castle or court. The visitor would always be ‘presented’ to the King, a very important ceremony to begin a good relationship.
see how it would have been done using this example with three people:
- Second, the visitor who, no matter how important, would still be less important than the King
- Third, the introducer, the person in the king’s court who’s job is to present the visitor to the king – make the introduction
Let’s create a mental picture in our minds of the King sitting on his throne wearing a big gold crown, and now let’s watch the visitor being presented to the King.
The King’s name is always stated first. “King ‘Great’, may I present to you Lord or Lady ‘Lessgreat’.”
If you think of this history lesson and mentally place a gold crown on the head of the person with the most importance, you’ll always make the proper and correct introductions.
A useful format to use when you’re introducing people is:
1) Always state the name of the most important person first, the King who’s wearing the crown
2) Use words like “May I” or “I would like to” or “It is a pleasure to”
3) Follow with words like “Introduce” or “Present” (“Present” is more formal)
4) Then state the name of the Lower ranking person
5) And always add a brief sentence about the lower ranking person, such as a job title or project he or she is working on, a recent success, or a common interest with the “King”. This provides the ‘King’ with information to begin a comfortable conversation.
Here are some examples:
1) “Ms. Gold Crown, may I introduce Mr. No Crown. Mr. No Crown just completed a trip to our Asian facilities.”
2) “Mr. Gold Crown, I would like to introduce Ms. No Crown. Ms. No Crown is the CEO of our company.”
3) “Ms. Gold Crown, may I present Mr. No Crown, who is an avid sailor.” (The presenter knows that Ms. Gold Crown is also a sailor, so this informs them both of a common interest)
4) If the situation is more casual, you can use first names, “Goldie, I’d like you to meet Silvery. Silvery plays percussion in the Wind Symphony.”
5) Or a very casual introduction of a relative, such as “Goldie, this is my sister Sherrie.”
So how do you determine who wears the crown? You must quickly evaluate each person’s ranking by title or relationship, and then compare it against the following list:
*Official refers to the Head of State or Country, like the President of the United States, a member of a royal family, a church official or clergyman, and a high ranking government official such as senator, congressman, or governor.
So, in the case we had above with your client and the company president, you would say the client’s name first, because the client is the ‘more important’ person - a customer. Although internally the company president has the most importance, when situations include a client (or potential client) outside the company, the client always has the importance.
There will be times when both people have the same importance, two business associates of equal status or two friends. In these cases, either name can be used first.
know how to make introductions correctly, an important business and
social skill that provides you with an opportunity to bring two or
more people together for the first time. Always remembering the importance
of personal relationships, the classy person is confident and
comfortable in getting them started in the correct way, by making good
I'm Looking forward to sending you another ClassyTip next Wednesday, and don't forget to visit my Forum that answers your questions on 'Becoming the Best You Can Be'.
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