Have you ever found yourself in a fix over how to introduce two parties in a formal setup?
- Whose name do you take first?
- Who do you present to whom?
- Is there a sequence to follow if there are multiple people in the setup?
Introduction protocol, if followed properly, reflects how well-versed you are with the refined ways of the corporate world. It’s an art that we would certainly need at some point or the other.
Why and wherefore
Before you step into the role of an introducer, understand the basic purpose of the introduction protocol.
You are playing the role of connecting two parties. And so, you don’t stop at just the exchange of names.
The idea is to connect two people and give them a ground to converse. Pull out a topic of common interest and add that fragment to your introduction.
Remember, an ideal introduction includes:
- Exchange of names
- A brief mention of a topic of common interest
Let the two of them take it forward from there.
The heavy-weight factor
The trick is to identify the weightier one– of course in the business context. The list below gives you pointers for the same.
- Senior over junior- as per organizational ranking
- Customer over your company staffer- irrespective of seniority
- Peers from another company over peers from your company
- Either one over the other- equal organizational ranking
- Gender- not relevant in modern corporate culture
- Business professionals over friends or family- during office functions
- If you have an entire team to present to the higher rank, present them in the order of their seniority- most senior team member first, followed by the immediate junior, and so on.
Introduction Protocol- The three hats you may have to wear
1. You- the introducer
Remember the rule- you always present the junior ranking person to the higher-ranked one.
Four parts to an ideal introduction-
Part 1 The senior’s name
Part 2 The introductory statements
Let me introduce …..
This is ….
I would like to introduce…
Part 3 The junior ranked person’s name
Part 4 A topic of shared interest
- Mr. Peterson (higher-ranked), please meet Grace (junior), our team lead for the Axis project. Grace has attended the same town hall addressed by prof Holmes, that you were talking about the other day.
- Ms. Irani (the customer), I would like to introduce our director- Mr. Swamy to you. Mr. Swamy is an avid follower of your blogs.
- Imran (peer from another company), please meet Lee (peer from your company). Lee, the other day, was talking about a chance meeting he had had, with your project lead.
- Mr. Sharma (business head), this is my son Vikram. Vikram is pursuing his post-graduation from the same university as yours.
- Avoid qualifiers like ‘close friend’ or ‘our most valued client’ or ‘most dynamic team member’. It may demoralize others.
- If someone doesn’t remember you, it is acceptable to remind them of who you are and where the two of you last met.
- For a self-introduction, do not use honorifics/titles/designations before your name. “I am Mr. Yadav” is a complete no-no. Say- “I am Subhash Yadav.”
- Do not rattle through the introduction. Speech clarity and right pauses leave a strong impact.
2. You- the senior
- Wait till the introducer finishes his part.
- Extend your hand first for a handshake, irrespective of your gender.
- Respond by saying – It is very nice to meet you/Great connecting with you- followed by the junior’s name.
Note – It is considered okay if you ask the introducer to repeat the name.
3. You- the junior
- Display respectful and confident body language.
- Exhibit warm eye contact and a genuine smile.
- Give a firm handshake in response to the extended hand. A maximum of three bumps is considered fine. Do not hold on to the hand for long.
- A response to the senior’s greeting could be – “I am pleased to meet you, Mr. Peterson.”
- It’s a pleasure meeting you Mr. Holmes. I read all your blogs and I find them very inspiring.
- Glad to meet you, Mr. Shah. I look forward to working with you.
- Always address a lady professional with a Ms., if you do not know her marital status. You should never say ‘miss’ unless specifically asked to.
So, perk up your confidence, mobilize these newly polished skills and play the role spot on!