Making introductions

The basic information everyone should be aware of when making proper introductions.

When making introductions, who is introduced first?  Is the proper way man to women; younger person to older person; person of authority to someone with no authority?

According to Emily Post’s Etiquette daily, the basic concept is, “Mrs. Authority, I would like you to meet Mr. Everyday.” Traditionally, the person who is named first is being shown a degree of respect based on seniority or authority and is having the introduction made to them. In most circumstances, these are the four basic guidelines:

  1. A younger person is introduced to an older person. The older person’s name is stated first.
  2. A person of high rank or special prominence is named first and receives the introduction. The lesser rank is introduced to them.
  3. When introducing family members to others, the other person’s name is generally said first if the people being introduced are of roughly the same age and rank.
  4. Traditionally in social situations, men are introduced to women.

A few examples by Michigan State University Extension include:

  • Introduce a younger person to an older person. “Grandma, please meet Alicia and Carlos Sanchez, they are in my 4-H club.”
  • Introduce a relatively junior professional to a senior professional. “Ms. Director, I would like to introduce Mr. Smith from Clover County.”
  • Introduce an employee to a customer. “Mr. Clover, I would like to introduce members of our Leaders’ Council. This is Mark Smith, Jessica Ramos and Lian Yang. All three participated in last week’s webinar.”
  • Introduce a host to a guest. “Elaine, I don’t think you have met my daughter, Samantha. Samantha arranged for all the food at this festival party. Samantha, Elaine is my Project Manager.”
  • Introduce a local guest to a from-another-town guest. “Robert, this is Debbie. Debbie is my colleague from work. Debbie, Robert is visiting me from East Lansing. We shared an apartment when we went to school at the Michigan State University.”
  • Introduce a peer from your organization to a peer from another organization. “Melissa, I would like you to meet Gary South, from our 4-H Leaders’ Association. Gary, Melissa Hoffmann is from BRACE.

Good Manners, a Michigan 4-H resource, provides more information on introductions as well as table manners and being a host. More information on workforce preparation can be found on the 4-H Career Exploration website. Workforce preparation refers to the skill-building, educational programming and training done with individuals to prepare them for work.

Did you find this article useful?