Presenting is an art that requires knowing good manners. Two people presented correctly can strike up a pleasant conversation and avoid the embarrassment and embarrassment that sometimes comes with a first meeting. When introducing people, the most important (and also the most difficult) is knowing who to introduce to whom, depending on their social status and circumstances. Once you have both of these in hand, it will be easy for you to make the introductions and maybe start a great conversation.
Part 1 of 2: follow the ground rules
Step 1. Wait for the right time
If you want to introduce two people, it's important to choose the right time to do so. Don't go wrong with introducing the wrong people or interrupting a great conversation just to get down to business. Here's what you need to know.
- If you find yourself in a conversation where two people don't know each other, try to make the introductions as soon as possible. It can be a bit tricky. Say you are walking with Amanda, your roommate in high school, and you run into Jacques, a college buddy, who starts telling you a story about a friend you have in common. Amanda will be standing there, a little embarrassed and bored as Jacques drowns in a flood of words. It's important to find an opening to introduce Amanda and include her in the conversation.
- You should avoid introducing people to people who are already in the middle of a serious conversation. Maybe you're with a client at a business event and can't wait to introduce them to your boss. While this meeting is important, you should avoid making introductions if it turns out that your boss is having a deep discussion with someone else. You should wait for the right time, when your boss is available. Introducing someone at the wrong time could prevent these people from getting along as well as they might under other circumstances.
Step 2. Determine which of the two people has the higher social rank
This information is important because you should always introduce the person with lower social status than the one with higher social status. In general, during social events, your trump card will be the gender of the people, because this will determine the rank scale: women always have priority over men, unless the man is much older. than the woman. Then, age must be taken into account: an older person will have the upper hand over a younger person. This is especially useful when both people are of the same sex. Here's what you need to know.
- The status of your 70-year-old mother-in-law will be higher than that of your new boyfriend.
- Out of respect and courtesy, old age always trumps any social status (or position). For example, according to most people, your 80-year-old neighbor has a higher status than your 14-year-old niece.
- All things being equal, the priority goes to the person you've known for the longest time: introduce a recent friend to your longtime friend.
- In society, out of respect, men are generally introduced to women. In a professional setting, we do not take into account the gender of people, but rather their position.
- Your family members are more important than your friends.
Step 3. In a professional setting, determine which of the two people has the highest position
Women will always have a higher status than men and older people over younger people. But, at the professional level, position takes precedence over a person's age and sex. This means that if the man occupies a higher position than the woman, it is the woman who should be presented to him because of the higher position of the man. In summary, in a professional setting, position is the most important factor, followed by the person's sex and then the age of the person. Here's what you need to know.
- Your boss will be in a higher position than your colleague, spouse, or best friend.
- Your colleague with seniority in the company has priority over your more recently employed colleague.
- You should introduce your customers to your employees.
- If you are presenting two people of equal standing in the workplace, introduce the person you know less to the person you know better. You should always mention the name of the person you know best first.
Step 4. Always say the name of the person in the higher position first and then introduce the other person to them
It might sound confusing to you, but it's just a matter of saying the name of the person in the highest position and then introducing the other person to them. This helps to underline the importance of the person in the high position in that specific situation. Here are some examples.
- Introducing a friend or someone important to you to a family member. Your family member holds the highest position: "Daddy, I would like to introduce you to my boyfriend, Daniel".
- Introducing a Lower-Rank Business Partner to Someone Higher: "Mr. Director, I would like to introduce Mr. So-and-so" to you.
- Presentation of a client to a business partner: Mr. Client, this is my partner, Mr. Financing”.
- Introducing a younger person to an older person: “Mr. Plusagé, I would like to introduce you to Sally Plusjeune”.
- Presentation of a man to a woman: "Mary, here is Paul".
- In a professional context, rank is more important than the gender of people. If Mr. Thomas is in a higher position than Ms. David, he will be given priority because of his professional position, even if Ms. David is female: “Mr. Thomas, may I introduce Ms. David”.
Step 5. Include some useful information to help people start a conversation
You should only do this after the presentations are finished. If they have enough material that allows them to chat without your help, that's fine. But, if you're trying to facilitate a business meeting or help people get to know each other at a party, you can provide some interesting information about each person, before you slip away. This will allow them to find common ground and continue the conversation. Maybe you can mention a common interest in something or a friend they have in common. Here are different ways to bond.
- “Elisabeth, do you know Fitzwilliam? It seems to me that you both like to read Jane Austen novels when you go for a walk in nature”.
- “Mom, this is my friend, Stéphanie. She teaches at your yoga studio”.
- “Mr. Martin, this is Mr. Durant. Mr. Martin helped me in the Dupuis case. We couldn't have done this without your help, Mr. Martin.
- “Marie, I would have liked to introduce you to my neighbor, Marc Charles. In fact, Marc is a published author. Marie has just started a creative writing class”.
- "Annie, do you know Richard? In fact, Richard works with François, your roommate. François is really a great person, isn't he? I really would have liked him to be here tonight…”
Part 2 of 2: Know the label
Step 1. How to properly deliver formal presentations
Most of these will take place at work, but they can also take place during ceremonies or if you are in the presence of high-ranking people. If you need to introduce people in one of these frames, you should use the first and last names of the people followed by: "Let me introduce you …", "I would like to introduce you …" or "do you know" …? Some say you shouldn't use the verb 'present' because it can be confusing or seem too direct, but that's up to you. Here is what you should do.
- Say the name of the person with the highest status (or position) first.
- Use the person's first and last name and title such as "Doctor / Professor". For example: “Doctor Martin, let me introduce you to Stéphanie Durant. Doctor Martin is my art history teacher. Stéphanie is a graduate in the history of art”.
- When making introductions, include appropriate information, such as the kind of relationship you have with the people involved. For example, you can say, “Mr. Director, allow me to introduce Marc Martin to you. Mr. Director is my boss. Marc Martin is my partner. "
Step 2. How to properly conduct informal presentations
In more casual situations, like a barbecue in your backyard, you can simply introduce people to each other using their names. For example: “Fitzwilliam Darcy, Élisabeth Bennet”. You can also bond by saying, "I was looking forward to the moment when I can introduce you …". In a more relaxed setting, you can focus more on substance (the way of starting a conversation) than on form.
You can just use the first names in a more casual setting
Step 3. How to properly present someone to a group of people
In this situation, you will need to take some time to introduce the newcomer to each member of the group, unless it is a small informal group. In this case, a general presentation will suffice. Naming each individual while you have the group's attention will not take a lot of time and will not disturb anyone.
- If the group is larger and the setting more serious, introduce the newcomer to the group first. Then present it to each person individually and introduce them by name: "Caroline, this is Fitzwilliam, my boss", "Lydie, this is Fitzwilliam, my boss", etc. Continue in this way until you have introduced all of the group members.
- Even if you find it funny or easier to say, “Mary, this is everyone. Everyone, this is Marie”, this way of doing things is not very practical for starting a conversation. In addition, you are rude to “everyone” because you make it seem like you don't think it is worthwhile for Mary to know every individual in the group. Of course, have some common sense: if you find yourself in a very noisy party and Mary has just arrived, she might feel overwhelmed to be, all of a sudden, introduced to 12 unfamiliar faces. In this case, make it easy for him and allow him to strike up a conversation with just a few people at a time.
Step 4. Don't repeat names or redo presentations backwards
Whether in a formal or informal setting, you don't have to repeat yourself. It is obvious to everyone who is who. Repeating names or saying them in reverse order can overwhelm presentations. Plus, you'd be making an odd mistake.
Step 5. Be tactful when you don't know a person's name
We have all experienced this situation. You want to introduce someone to someone else, but voila, you forgot the name of the person standing in front of you. You have two options.
- Politely apologize and say, "I'm so sorry, would you kindly remind me of your first name?" "
- Trying to fake it. Say, “Have you ever introduced yourself? Then take a break and let them introduce themselves. It's not perfect, but this suggestion is very useful, especially if you have forgotten the name of a person whom you have already met several times!
Step 6. Use common sense when naming people
The usual rule is to say the names you normally use when you are together. For example, if you are good friends with your ex-teacher, Lucie Armand and you still call her Lucie, you can use her first name when introducing her to your boyfriend. In a more serious context, if the person has not given you permission to call them by their first name and you still call them "Doctor" or "Sir", you should continue to do so.
When in doubt, always choose the formal option. It is better if your boss says, "You can call me Rob instead of Mister" rather than you make him wince by calling him "Rob" instead of "Mister"
- When introduced, give simple responses such as "It's a pleasure" or "Elizabeth told me so much about you". Avoid talking too much or using too flowery language, as your sincerity may be called into question or you may be found out of fashion. Peggy Post explains that “exaggerated compliments can have a very bad effect. "
- Do not use the following methods.
- Do not use "should" or "must" when introducing someone. You might think that you are rude, bossy and "have you seen me?" For example, don't say, "You must meet", "You should get to know each other" or "You must have a lot to say to each other" (how can you know that !?).
- Likewise, it is rude to force people into action, for example, by saying, "Please shake hands with …"
- Do not use the phrase “it is” when introducing someone, especially if you are in a formal setting.
- Don't force someone to meet someone if they've already made it clear to you about their decision. Don't play the hero or minimize his concerns. The fact that he (or she) does not want to be introduced is his problem, not yours.
- If you want to follow Emily Post's advice, you should avoid introducing people in public places if you're not 100% sure they'll want to know each other. It's one thing to be in an intimate get-together of friends or a night out, but it's quite another if your boss came to a museum opening and you're there with your neighbor Ronaldo as well. You shouldn't introduce them unless you are absolutely sure that your boss would be very happy to meet your old friend. This distinction is very formal, so if you'd rather ignore it, do so. Before making the introductions, it will be helpful for you to think about things you can mention to create a bond between the two people. So once the presentations are over, you will know how to start a short conversation.
- It is important to note that there are cultural, community and regional differences when it comes to presenting two people. For example, this article was based on American expectations while the video focuses on a British approach. While there are a lot of similarities, there are also nuances that you might want to educate yourself about before venturing into uncharted waters. Likewise, you will encounter differences between presentations in a professional setting and those made in society. Some rules will apply in one context, but not in the other.
- If you've forgotten someone's name, don't try to fake it. Just admit that his name escapes you at the moment. Be humble!
- Avoid topics like divorce, bereavement, loss of a job, illness, etc. Everyone feels uncomfortable with these kinds of themes and no one knows what to say afterwards.