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How To Introduce People

How To Introduce People

Formal introductions can be a minefield. Here we give you step-by-step advice on how to introduce people at a party or formal event.

Step 1: Order of importance

Socially, women rank at the top - like a queen bee - so you should always introduce a man to a woman, not the other way round. In business gender is irrelevant - position in the company is all that counts. Generally you should say the name of the most important person first.

Step 2: Watch your language

The language you use to introduce people will also imply something about how they should relate to each other. If you say:

"Miss Crimson, I'd like you to meet Colonel Coleman..."

It makes Colonel Coleman sound more important, despite saying Tara's name first. Try to avoid using the word "meet". Instead say something like:

"Miss Crimson, this is Colonel Coleman"

Or, more formally:

"...may I introduce Colonel Coleman"

Step 3: Use full names

Miss Tara Crimson may have met a lot of Colonels in her time, so it's important that she can distinguish this Colonel from all the others. Even if it feels slightly wordy, it's best to use full names when introducing people:

"Tara Crimson, may I introduce Colonel Cuthbert Coleman..."

Step 4: Contextualise

You should also helps your friends to place each other by explaining their relationship to you, how you know each other, or a little about who they are:

"Tara is my Niece; Colonel Coleman is a distinguished war veteran who served with your Uncle..."

Step 5: The springboard

Your aim in introducing people is to get them talking and to mix up the party a bit, so try and give them a springboard to launch them into conversation:

"You're close neighbours now, you both living on the green..."

After a successful introduction, your friends should find themselves falling easily into conversation. Once they're talking, you're free to move on and attend your other guests.