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Practicing inclusion is easy when you learn how to introduce yourself and others. Imagine a world where no one knew anyone’s name. How would we identify ourselves?

Walking up to someone and introducing yourself can be a mini trauma for most of us. Our self-doubt kicks in and we begin to feel inadequate. Learn to conquer that fear. You are worthy of being known, so introduce yourself!

Learning the correct way to introduce yourself and others will help lessen your anxiety.

Some basic introduction rules should always be followed:

  • When two men or two women in the same age are introduced, it does not matter whose name is spoken first.
  • A women’s name is always spoken first when introducing a man and a woman.
  • When introducing an older person to a younger person, the older person’s name is spoken first.
  • When introducing a VIP to anyone, the name and title of the VIP is spoken first.

Whenever you introduce yourself, smile, extend your hand for a handshake, and look that person in the eye. Say “hello,” never “hi.” Say your name slowly and clearly, and add a sentence or two about yourself or the event.

Knowing how to make small talk is vital to professional and social success. Look for common ground. We all share common ground, regardless of where we are in our lives. We share the weather, current news events, dining experiences, careers. If you’re at a loss, ask the person how he or she came to be at the event.

Learning and practicing how to make proper introductions is an invaluable skill. Introducing others makes them feel included and is an act of kindness.

Remember, however that business introductions call for a different set of rules than social introductions. Business introductions are based on rank and have no gender preferences. Learning how to properly introduce business colleagues will demonstrate a level of professionalism that won’t go unnoticed.


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To be conscious that you don't know is the first step to knowledge. - Wisetta Dolsey