Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Charm School - The Etiquette of Introductions

Ah, the confusion that surrounds the simple act of making introductions! Yes, there are proper etiquette rules when you are introducing one person to another. The primary thing to keep in mind is to always mention the name of the woman or the most important person first. For example: "Jane, may I present Jim Jones?" Then follow with, "Jim, this is Jane Jackson." Or "Senator Davis, may I present Darlene Smith?" Then follow with, "Darlene, this is Senator Davis."

In making social and business introductions, there are three simple rules to keep in mind:

1. A man is always presented to a woman first, as in the example above.

2. A noticeably younger person is always presented to an older person. "Mr. Older, may I present Miss Teenager."

3. A man or woman is always presented to a very distinguished person, clergyman, official, or higher-up in business. "Ms. Boss, may I present our new employee, Bill Roberts."

When introducing yourself, simply say, "Hello, I am Ruth Smith." If an acquaintance seems to have forgotten your name or an earlier introduction, don't cause possible embarrassment by saying, "Remember me?" Instead, give your name and mention the place where you met, such as, "Hello! I'm Ruth Smith. We met at Bob Brown's party a couple of months ago."


Andrea said...

I think when I usually run into trouble is when these rules conflict.

For instance, I'm introducing a woman (approximately 30) to an older man (approximately 55) in a business setting, where the woman outranks the man (where she is a Director level position, and he is just a Manager level, for instance).

Or a woman who is 18 is being introduced to a 30 year old man. He is quite a bit older, but it's not like he's 85 and seriously senior.

Do you have any advice on weighing the disparate rules and making the correct judgment calls?

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