1. Always show deference to clients, senior
executives, distinguished guests and high-ranking dignitaries by
stating their names first. For example, "Mr. Davis (senior
executive), I would like to introduce Ms. Eliot (junior
2. When introducing members of the opposite sex,
use age and rank or degree of distinction as a guide. If the two
people are approximately the same age, rank and prominence, the
woman's name should be mentioned first. Otherwise, you should adhere
to the preceding guideline.
3. If someone has forgotten to introduce you, take
the initiative and introduce yourself. Smile, extend your hand and
say, "My name is so-and-so. I don't believe we've met."
4. Never refer to yourself as Mr., Mrs.,
Dr. and so on. Other people give you an honorific. You don't give
one to yourself.
5. In general, call a person by his or her first
name only after he or she has given you permission to do so, for example, "Please
call me Shirley." There are, of course, certain informal
settings where first names would be appropriate. Let your common
sense and knowledge of business protocol be your guide.
6. If someone forgets your name, be quick to supply
it in order to lessen their embarrassment.
7. If you are unsure of how to pronounce someone's
name, simply say, "I'd really like
to pronounce your name correctly." In
Louisiana, with all of our, sometimes difficult to pronounce names,
you will be a sure-fire hit if you learn to pronounce them
8. When possible, always add a little information
to go with a name. That will give people a springboard for
conversation. For example, "Ms. Smith, this is Dr. Williams,
vice president of marketing." "Ms. Smith is president of
9. Avoid commanding people in the introduction. In
other words, don't say, "Mr. Johnson meet Ms. Logan."
10. Stand when being introduced. This shows
consideration and respect. If standing would be awkward, however, it
is permissible to remain seated. Always shake hands and exchange
greetings, such as "How do you do?" or "I'm glad to
11. The handshake is important. It has become the
usual greeting for both men and women. Handshakes are your first way
of connecting with a person. Remember, however, that a limp, moist
handshake or on the other hand, a bone-crusher, can slam the door on
an enthusiastic response.
12. When you shake hands, people make an immediate
judgment about your character and level of
confidence. So, give them a firm, quick grasp, and shake. Grasp the
other person's hand completely so that the thumbs are interlocked
and the hands are completely within each other. Shake hands from the
elbow, not from the shoulder. You're not pumping water. Special
Note: When a man and woman are being introduced, their hands
should come together simultaneously. Gentlemen--times have changed.
You do not need to wait for the woman to offer her hand first.
Ladies--some men are unaware of this change in etiquette, so be
ready to offer your hand.
13. To help you remember someone's name, repeat it
as soon as you are introduced, saying, for example, "How do you
do, Mr. Davis?" and practice saying the name several times
during the conversation.