Introducing yourself to new people or making an introduction to someone new doesn’t have to be awkward.  A few simple steps and phrases will serve you in any circumstance, whether socially, at the office, or at a networking event. Also read on for help when you forget someone’s name.

To introduce someone to someone else:

  1. Start with the name of the most important person.  In business, this would be the person at the highest seniority level for internal introductions.  If one of the people is a customer, client or guest, that person is the most important, so start with their name.  Socially, importance is often based on age.
  2. Use introducing phrases. Examples would be “I’d like to introduce _______” Or “please meet___.”   More common language may be “I’d like to introduce you to ______” Or I’d like you to meet _____. “
  3. Share brief, relevant background of each. This might include job titles or role, business at hand, or a segue into a conversation.

Example: Ms. Client, I’d like to introduce you to Sam Smith who is Vice President of Sales.  Ms. Client, is Supply Chain Manager at ABC company and is here for a meeting about our new XYZ product line.

Example: Mayor Jones, I’d like to introduce you to my colleague, Sally Singh, who is Director of Community Relations for our bank.  We were just talking about what a nice event your town is hosting.

Proper etiquette is to not use first names until invited to do so.  Norms can vary by industry and organizational culture.  Public officials and religious leaders should always be addressed by their title until invited otherwise.

Introducing yourself:

You may need to do this at a meeting, networking event or if someone is not making the introduction:

Example: Hello, my name is Hello, my name is Nora Numbers, a staff accountant. Welcome to ABC&D. (or How do you do or It’s nice to meet you)

Example: Hi my name is Fred Fundraiser from ABC agency.  I don’t believe we’ve met yet.

If you forget names:

Do something rather than hope the person hovering will go away or that someone will save you.

Example: I’d like to introduce you to Markita, who is one of our staff attorneys. (Markita will likely then extend a handshake and the guest whose name you forgot will introduce him/herself by name.)

Example: Mr. Client, I’d like to introduce you to one of our sales team members.  I’m so sorry, but I blanked on your name even though I remember we worked together on the ABC rollout. (And that person will then introduce him/herself.)

For more help in negotiating business etiquette in social situations, consider engaging me for my workshop: Power Mingling: Network with Ease and Effectiveness.  It is highly interactive and includes mock reception exercises. Click HERE for a small excerpt that is more in keynote format.