Monday, November 3, 2008

Making introductions

Setting: An imaginary high-ceiling living room. You are a cocktail party guest of a sparkling, tasteful, power-wielding set of hosts who will receive all manner of illuminati to the very room, the very cocktail party, which you are now attending in this magnificent home. And along side you a business associate stands only moments away from needing an introduction to practically every high-ranking shiny-shoe in your line of work and their spouses or partners. Imaginary- you certainly has polished manners and knows how to make introductions! One less thing to worry about.

Imaginary-you knows well as each new group approaches for a small but engaging chat, that there are rules to remember, there are correct steps to the dance of introductions:

Imaginary-you never forgets for a moment that an introduction is a presentation of one person to another. Though rarely does one hear the phrase, "May I present..." that is nonetheless what this scenario is and unless in a very informal environment, one should still present with a title and first and last names, it helps people to sort things out. While some of this may seem old gender rules, call it whatever you want, it will help you cover all the bases without making a misstep.

1. Ladies are always introduced to gentlemen first:
"Mrs./ Ms./ Dr. Alicia Jones, may I introduce Dr. Michael Bradley."

2. In the same gender, a younger person is always presented to an older person first, even if they are separated by only a few years.
"Ms. Alicia Jones - Mrs. Mimi Lyons"
"Master Douglas Fairchild - Mr. Evan Cullen."
"Doctor Tim Jones - Doctor Daniel Evans."

3. Junior officers are always presented to senior officers:
"Lt. John Winter - Commander Mark Heath."

4. Etiquette guides will say that a woman need not rise from her seat when introduced to a man but that the man must rise for a woman. But this is not correct any longer. When you are introduced to another human being, stand. unless physically prevented. Courtesy always prevails.

5. It is always sharp to mention anything the two introduct-ees may have in common or will help them to begin conversing:
"Alicia is my colleague at Baine, from the M&A group."
"Tim is a tremendous tennis player."
"Bob is just back from Hong Kong as well."
"Lee is a Duke alum also."

Happy introducing.

1 comment:

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