Proper Introductions

Dear Jean,

I’m the executive director of a small, not-for-profit organization.  It seems like every day I’m in a position where I’m introducing people to each other.  I know there are rules for proper business introductions.  What are they?

Reply:

Business is becoming more casual these days and I’ve noticed that sometimes in informal situations where people aren’t likely to see one another again, introductions are made with first names only.

The formal way to make introductions is to introduce the lower-ranking person to the higher-ranking person.  It will sound something like this:  “Mark, may I introduce you to our vice president, Julie Falone?  Julie, this is Mark Matrol.  He is our newest sales rep.”  Or, “I’d like to introduce our vice president, Julie Fallone.  Julie, this is Mark Matrol, our newest sales rep.”

As for social introductions, here are those guidelines:

1.  A man is introduced to a woman.

2.  A young person is introduced to an elder.

3.  A less important person is introduced to a more important person.

4.  A commoner is introduced to a queen.

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