I’ve been in awkward situations when someone didn’t properly introduce me to someone in the room. It happens. I’m not shy, so I stick my hand out and introduce myself.
Introductions don’t have to be complicated, but there are some tricks to giving a good one.
When it’s our turn to introduce someone, let’s agree to do it the right way. In fact, let’s create a memorable introduction.
Here’s a short excerpt from my book, Along Came a Leader: A Guide to Personal and Professional Leadership at Any Age:
How to Introduce Someone: There are three types of introductions: good, bad, and memorable. In order to create a memorable introduction you must complete six important steps:
1) Say their name and often. Say their whole name clearly and slowly. Say it several times in conversation.
2) Put your hand on the shoulder of the person you are talking about.
3) Look into the eyes of the person you are speaking to, not about.
4) State how you know the person.
5) State something they do incredibly well professionally.
6) State something else about the person that is positive and engaging.
Then you do the same for the other person.
The result is amazing. The two will learn each other’s name, have some admiration for each other, realize how they can network, and have something to talk about. Also, each will admire you for speaking so highly of them. That’s a memorable introduction.
Ideally your introduction looks like you are showcasing a dear friend and presenting them to someone else to have in their life. The hand on the shoulder, the eye contact, the three statements you make about the person, all combine into a memorable introduction. You can now walk away and rest assured the two will be able continue on without you.
Example: “Tom, this is my good friend Mark. Mark and I met when I worked in Watertown, Massachusetts at Perkins School for the blind. Mark is an amazing physical therapist. He works with physically challenged children and helps them better engage with their world. Amazing guy. Mark also plays a guitar pretty well too.”
When you are introduced, you extend your hand and say your name, and something nice like, “A pleasure to meet you, Mark.” Yes, say their name.
Also note in the example how many times I said “Mark” so that the listener would ‘get’ the name. Once is never enough.
If you are going to speak somewhere it is always best to write out an introduction. You can’t imagine how important this is for speaking in front of an audience of any size. If you have asked someone to speak, remember to ask them for a short introduction. It really matters.
Keep your introductions short, but memorable.