The first rule is to remember the names of everyone you’re being introduced to. The
most important part of an introduction is the other person’s name, not your name. Heck,
you already know your name.

When you introduce two people to each other, the person whose name you mention first
is the more important one; lower status people are always introduced to higher status
people. But don’t grovel; a title does not automatically confer status. “High” status
should be reserved for Presidents/Prime Ministers and your parents.

If you are still confused, use this tip as a ways to remember whose name goes first: Mr.
CEO, I’d like you to meet Mr. Intern.

There are many rules about who is supposed to be introduced to whom. I can simplify
the rules:
1) Men are introduced to women, so the woman’s name is said first: Betty, I’d like you to
meet Barney.
2) Younger people are always introduced to older people, so the older person’s name is
said first: Grandma, I’d like to meet my teenage friend.

At an introduction, a handshake is not always required. A man always waits for the
woman to hold out her hand, and a youngster always waits for the elder to hold out
his/her hand.

A skilled host/hostess will always give each person a clue as to why two people are
being introduced so that you’ll know how to make small talk after the introduction. For
example, “Sally, I’d like you to meet Harry. Harry recently returned from his first visit to
Alaska, and he probably would like to ask you question about your mountain climb on
Denali.” It does not matter whether Harry is actually interested in Sally’s climb. Harry will
follow that lead and begin a conversation. The point of this small talk is not to gather
information but to connect on a one-to-one level.

If you are not given a clue as to why you are being introduced, just say “How do you do?”
and smile. However, the person whose name came second in the introduction is
responsible for starting the conversation. Say anything except an observation about  
appearance; “Wow, you look great for your age!” is not acceptable. Avoid politics,
religion, and sex. Comment on the party, or about the fine weather we’ve been having, or
the beautiful Chagall on the wall. The point of this small talk is not to gather information
but to connect on a one-to-one level.

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