How To Introduce Yourself to Someone You’ve Never Met

introductory handshakeThis article is number 2 in the effective small business communication series.

Those first introductions can be the most difficult—and sometimes the most important.

People are making flash judgments every second. Every move you make is being scrutinized.

But with the right introduction, a good personality, and some confidence, you have the power to cement your good image in their minds and create an instant bond.

In my experience, there are two main parts to introducing yourself to someone new. The first part is starting the conversation; going from standing around awkwardly to actually interacting with them. The second part consists of what you say and how you say it.

How to start the conversation

  1. The mutual acquaintance icebreaker If your soon-to-be friend happens to be talking with or know someone that you know, it can be a great way to leverage yourself into a conversation. If they’re talking to that person, it’s really easy to just walk up and say hi to your friend, and an introduction follows very naturally. If not, you can just confirm there name “Dave Moneyfountain?” and mention your aquaintance “I know Mark ReallyReputableGuy, he’s mentioned you a few times.” Then you can launch into a discussion from there.
  2. The compliment icebreaker Giving a compliment is a frequently over-used tactic that is still used, because it can work so well. They key, of course, is sincerity. Everyone uses the “I like your watch” compliment nowadays—but since I happen to be a watch fanatic, I can start talking about automatic movements and other things that make my compliments truly sincere. Your best bet is going to be giving a compliment that you truly mean and are prepared to talk about in detail.
  3. Conversation by proximity This can be a great way to jump start a conversation, if you happen to be close to the person you want to introduce yourself to (close physically or in situation). If you do find yourself in place where this might work, just make some seemingly-intelligent or humorous remark about whatever situation you find yourself in (I do this all the time waiting in lines). A hand-shake and introduction can follow swiftly thereafter.
  4. The direct approach Once you realize that everyone else is also busy looking for excuses to come up and talk to you, this approach becomes easier. Simply stroll up with a little confidence, offer a hand-shake, and say, “Hi, Mike, I’m ________.” Alternatively, if you’re approaching a group, you can walk up and say, “Mind if I join you?” You might be amazed at this, but the direct approach works really well. People just don’t seem to say, “No, you can’t join us,” or, “Hi, actually, I’m busy and don’t want to talk with you.”

Most of these suggestions are worded for usage in a face-to-face scenario, but in reality they can apply to starting all sorts of conversations (emailing and calling were two others that came to my mind).

What to say in your first conversation

How you start your conversation will depend a lot on what you want from that relationship. If you want a personal relationship, for example, you might start with different things than if you want a business relationship. For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume your goal is to start a friendly business relationship.

Start with their name. It’s tempting to start with your own name, but if you know their name it’s a really nice touch to address them by it. Once they’ve been addressed, then you can throw your name into the mix.

Give yourself a history. If you have a mutual acquaintance, a specific reason for starting the conversation, or anything that gives credit to you, it is good to mention that early on. It lets them know you aren’t trying to waste their time. If you don’t have any back story (at a business card exchange, for example), then it’s okay to skip this step. Also, don’t speak too much on this—keep it to one or two sentences.

Ask questions about them. Ask them about what they do, what they like doing, their history. Ask anything that’s appropriate to your conversation. In general, people really enjoy talking about themselves, so the more you let them talk, the more they’re going to like you. One caveat to this, however; don’t subject them to a rapid-fire interrogation! Ask slow, thoughtful questions, and then give them a chance to talk for a while. A little down-time can actually be a good thing for a conversation.

Listen carefully, and respond. You may have noticed that the best conversationalists remember all sorts of little details about you and bring them up when the time is right. Your goal in asking questions isn’t just to make them feel good about themselves, but also to learn as much about them as you can. Be a good listener, and you’ll remember a whole lot more of the conversation. Once you’ve fully processed what they said (again, it’s okay to pause and think), you can respond with something thoughtful.

Answer their questions. Once they start asking you questions, it’s time to give them more information about yourself and your company. This is also when you can give them your small business’s marketing message. Be careful not to speak for too long, though, it’s never a good idea to entirely dominate the conversation.

At this point, you’ll probably have been speaking for at least a few minutes and will be well on your way to building a valuable relationship. It’s still good to remember some of the basics, though, especially about listening and paying attention to what they say. Good luck with your conversations, and feel free to start one in the comments section.

If you’re interested in more articles like this, check out some others in the Effective Small Business Communication series.

Reader Comments

Oct. 24. 2007 7:20 AM
arrow

Thanks for posting these excellent tips and advice, which I feel could be useful for anyone approaching someone for the first time. These tips would hold true not only for business meetings but also for social and personal meetings. They are great for the new businessman or employee but may also help anyone who is shy or nervous about meeting people socially.

Much appreciated
Doug
www.dougwoods.com


Oct. 24. 2007 11:12 PM
arrow

Hi Doug, you’re very welcome—I’m glad you enjoyed them.

Much of my earlier years were spent as a shy little kid who was afraid to just walk up to people and talk. Now, I speak on stage and introduce myself to new people as a matter of course. A lot of these insights have come from that personal journey.

Thanks for reading,

- Mason


Oct. 26. 2007 5:53 PM
arrow

Informative and insightful information for a subject that is rarely touched upon with in the scope of business networking.
Good advice on conversation initiation and maintenance.
Be sure to stress the hand shake - or is that article to come?
I have presented handshake classes at a large state university during corporate recruiting and I think the business community would be surprised at the ignorance regarding handshakes in the corporate world.


Oct. 26. 2007 7:21 PM
arrow

Glad you enjoyed the article, I think that based on your recommendation I actually will write a follow-up article totally around the handshake. I’m betting you’re right about how many people don’t understand it’s importance (or the best way to go about it).

Feel free to throw in some suggestions out there in the mean time.

- Mason


Oct. 28. 2007 10:24 PM
arrow

I am kind of a shy guy, so these tips will come handy for my business :)

thanks


Oct. 29. 2007 11:16 AM
arrow

Hey Flash,

I’m glad to be of service, and thanks for the comment (seriously, I love comments),

- Mason


Nov. 9. 2007 4:03 PM
arrow

One of my friends is a bit shy and doesn’t open up in a group fast enough. And because of this he is accused of being a loner and an uninteresting person, though he is a wonderful person to be with when he opens up… I wanted to help him out and came across this useful article. It was really nice… I’ve suggested him the tips you proposed… thank you…


Nov. 28. 2007 6:34 PM
arrow

How would you recommend responding to an introduction by someone via email. Writing “Nice to meet you” in the email seems like a bad fit since we haven’t actually met (in person).

And on the flip side, how would one best introduce yourselves via email to a (otherwise) stranger)?

All of the above would be in the context of establishing a business relationship.


Dec. 4. 2007 4:14 PM
arrow

Many people have a problem dealing with the ice breaking situation when they meet a new person. i myself have gone thought this many times but have realized with time that the ice breaking situation is faced by almost everyone but they overcome it with a mind set that they have known the people long before even if they have never meet the stranger.


Dec. 1. 2009 1:15 PM
arrow

many thanks you to make this website.


Feb. 8. 2010 2:46 PM
arrow

thankuu im so shy person to meet some bodys.i hope this words making me to avoid my shy ness


Jul. 3. 2010 10:44 PM
arrow

Great article there is this person says hi to me now I can finally break the ice thanks.


Jul. 23. 2010 2:58 AM
arrow

Thank u,those words are being useful to me as im going to start a conversation with someone whom i met recently…...


Aug. 16. 2010 10:21 PM
arrow

Mason, you hadn’t responded to Niv’s questions submitted in 2007, I too am curious as to how would you recommend making an introduction to someone via email to a (otherwise) stranger within the context of establishing a business relationship.


Oct. 10. 2010 10:01 PM
arrow

Thanks, this artcile will come hady for my future meetings :)


Oct. 13. 2010 6:58 PM
arrow

just starting in the world of professional interaction. This comes very handy !


Oct. 17. 2010 10:27 PM
arrow

Very useful tips, thanks a lot!


Nov. 9. 2010 3:47 AM
arrow

Many thanks to make this website


Jan. 12. 2011 2:29 AM
arrow

Hi Mason,

These are really good tips on how to start up conversations with people you don’t know. I feel so awkward sometimes in groups of people I don’t know, especially if everyone else seem to know one another. These tips will really help me by giving me a way to start up a conversation a little easier.


Jan. 29. 2011 5:07 PM
arrow

Dear Mason,
Im starting highschool soon and am a little shy
but am prepared to make new friends i have read
your tips and have found that they are great way
to introduce myself and find friends.
Thanks
- anonamous


Mar. 31. 2011 4:15 PM
arrow

Increase your selling effectiveness! Sell better/Sell smarter. Navigate your way to sales success with my eBook: A1SalesPro.net


Apr. 2. 2011 4:57 AM
arrow

VERY USEFUL TIPS


Apr. 12. 2011 3:26 AM
arrow

Thank You so much ! i really appriciate your Very Imp Tips which are very useful.
Thanx once again.


Apr. 19. 2011 2:28 AM
arrow

Yeah, it ‘s kind of difficult to break the ice.


Apr. 27. 2011 8:38 PM
arrow

hi i like speak english can you help me please to speak


May. 9. 2011 2:51 AM
arrow

i want to speak in english but i don’t have confidence,how can i improve it


Jun. 2. 2011 8:15 AM
arrow

hi   This is Dileep Pandey i am working in vindia it Serevices Pvt ltd.as a opreation manager it is isrally best company i am 28 year old i have done my graduation form Vikramaditya University Bhopal. i have two brother my elder brother name is Pradeep Pandey he is 32 years old he is also done master degree and he has married. younger brother Name is Sandeep Pandey he is 26 years old he is also done graduation he has not married. My Father Name is Shri Hira lal Pandey He is 60 years Old He has retired from Army he is very simple person. My Mother Name is kusma Devi Pandey she is house wafe he has crossed 50 years. she is also simple nature.


Jun. 7. 2011 3:42 AM
arrow

can you please help me..
Can you give me a introduction or how i introduce my self being a first timer in college w/ the course of BSEd maj. in english…
EXAMPLE PLEASE!!!!!


Jun. 25. 2011 1:53 AM
arrow

My name is Vincent Beentjes, I am learning to be an Innovation Facilitator. At the moment I’m investigating the effects of coaching and management on innovation. I’m finding that communication plays a key role in both cases. Obvious as this might seem, you would be surprised how few people ask themselves ‘How can I improve my communicative skills?’. I’m trying to improve my communication skills and you’ve been a big help. I would like for you to comment on my pitch on http://bit.ly/gOhlG8, but I’ll understand if you don’t. Thanks for all your hard work!


Jun. 28. 2011 9:04 AM
arrow

How I introduce myself being a first timer on podium in English.
Pls reply soon.


Jul. 17. 2011 1:38 AM
arrow

i want to speak in english but i don’t have confidence,how can i improve it


Jul. 19. 2011 12:58 AM
arrow

please guide me or suggest me when ever i face interview i feel nervous.


Jul. 30. 2011 1:42 PM
arrow

i want to speak in english with others in full confidence so how can i improve it?


Aug. 20. 2011 11:09 AM
arrow

nice tips ... especially for us shy types!


Aug. 25. 2011 11:02 PM
arrow

thanks i was doing homework and your advice really helped me.


Aug. 29. 2011 2:41 AM
arrow

Nice tip on how to introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met.


Aug. 29. 2011 11:59 PM
arrow

very nice tips,, helps a lot


Sep. 6. 2011 9:08 AM
arrow

Just came in a new place and had to met new people, Nice tips here, It really helped!


Sep. 18. 2011 12:15 PM
arrow

It is very helpful and i really enjoy that while i was out for business….thanks man:-)


Oct. 4. 2011 11:01 PM
arrow

it ‘s great ways to make with everyone. thank for sharing


Nov. 28. 2011 12:31 AM
arrow

I never had problems with introducing myself to unknown people. In big companies, where I don’t have acquaintance, I easily getting involve in conversation. On business meetings I think you should act this way. Otherwise you would never meet business partners.


Dec. 2. 2011 12:18 AM
arrow

how do i introducing myself to college administratin via email?


Dec. 3. 2011 10:02 AM
arrow

uggs are designed to wear without socks, to ensure that the thermostatic properties from the organic fibers to uggs full benefit.


Dec. 26. 2011 6:04 AM
arrow

Бугага


Dec. 26. 2011 6:05 AM
arrow

<a >Йа Гуголь</a>


Jan. 5. 2012 9:47 AM
arrow

nice .............


Jan. 22. 2012 10:20 PM
arrow

Ÿøú pęõpłê årē för èvėr ãłōñê!


Feb. 8. 2012 4:31 AM
arrow

hi am from ghana and i need someone there who can introduce me into bussiness from all over the world i hope to hear from the person soon


Mar. 9. 2012 8:23 AM
arrow

hi guys , thank you for the web site it was very helpful to me
i wish all the best for you
PEACE


Apr. 11. 2012 1:41 PM
arrow

Thank you. This was great. It will help me when I am out and about selling our companies services and when we are in BNI meetings as well!


Apr. 18. 2012 10:36 AM
arrow

I am a very shy person….but this tipshave come in to be very handy….thnxs


Apr. 22. 2012 11:49 PM
arrow

you. This was great. It will help me when I am out and about selling our companies services and when we are in BNI meetings a


Jul. 10. 2012 11:14 AM
arrow

thank you,for helping everybody for there problems,it’s really amazing


Jul. 23. 2012 5:49 AM
arrow

I have found your blog long ago and continue reading it up-to-date! But now I have decided to register and write a comment for those who are here for the first time! Do not pass by!! Do not look at the site design! The content is surely what you need from this topic! Stay with us and e


Nov. 7. 2012 6:27 PM
arrow

Уважаемые господа!У меня есть новость магазину он-лайн Тогда читайте новость  -  <a >детские майки купить </a>  купить джинсы в москве  <a >платья 2012 фото лето </a>  интернет магазин одежды костюмы  <a >бесплатно фильм белое платье </a>  индийские платья  ... Хороших Вам покупок!
-====-
Discount for Christmas - <a >uk viagra kamagra </a> - Kamagra UK by paypal :.order Generic Kamagra India best price .: Discount for Christmas 7 5 % == <a >Buy Cheap Generic Kamagra drugs </a> - Super Kamagra UK


Jan. 25. 2013 2:13 AM
arrow

good tips, thanks


Mar. 14. 2013 2:57 PM
arrow

I had an uncle who would introduce himself by saying “I’m Vic, and I guess you know your name!” Broke the ice every time.


Apr. 26. 2013 8:55 PM
arrow

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be at the net the simplest factor to be aware
of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while other folks
think about worries that they just do not realize about. You
controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the
entire thing without having side-effects , other folks
can take a signal. Will likely be back to
get more. Thank you


Apr. 27. 2013 5:49 AM
arrow

It’s great that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well as from our discussion made at this place.


arrow

Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility
issues. When I look at your blog site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening
in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to
give you a quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!


May. 27. 2013 9:08 AM
arrow

Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
Regardless, I’m definitely happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it
and checking back frequently!


Jun. 6. 2013 5:37 PM
arrow

Hi there colleagues, good article and nice
urging commented at this place, I am genuinely enjoying by these.


Jul. 14. 2013 1:00 PM
arrow

Good day I am so grateful I found your web site, I really found
you by accident, while I was looking on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic
post and a all round interesting blog (I also love
the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.


Dec. 16. 2013 12:46 AM
arrow

I will try to do things just as you say and change a little bit of my own style then it will be great ♥


arrow

Schoene Seite, ich komme sicher mal wieder vorbei.


michael kors factory outlet online Most bee aficionados go
through the Scripps bee the Super Bowl of spelling competitions, so many
get excited this occassion of year and keep to the rounds, always keeping up,
says Ned Andrews, merely 13 when he spelled “antediluvian” correctly to win the championship
in 1994. Now a public defender in Portsmouth, Va., Mr.

Andrews later wrote a guidebook for kids looking to organize the big
leagues..michael kors factory outlet online
michael kors factory outlet online Tuesdays in Room 112 of Walton Hall around
the Newport campus. Students will be informed on how to use a mouse, put together and use a
communication account, track expenses, and fix photos
and documents to the email. The money necessary for the class is $30, by using a jump drive
per student.

Felt quite comfortable displaying my nakedness. That is all.“While most girls are required to audition, Chopra nailed the deal in her first attempt itself. Sherlyn wasn’t requested to appear for any audition, thanks to the “faith” that Hefner had in her.michael kors factory outlet online
michael kors factory outlet online To this the doe should pull out some of her own fur to line the nest box. They in most cases have them at 30 31 days. The one incident we aware of a mom dying during delivery is when a friend rabbit apparently died working to swallow the placenta,(she choked on it).

The mastery of John Secret is very clear to leftwing commentator Chris Trotter, and he’s written an important blogpost lamenting the failure of the left taking Key more seriously see: Clear Superiority: 6-pack the Left consistently underestimate John Key?. Like Trotter, Toby Manhire had also been incredibly thankful for Key’s Campbell Live performance, and described, ‘It was a striking reminder of John Key’s ability for a political performer. He understands his audience no, his audiences as along with any politician these days.michael kors factory outlet online


Jan. 8. 2014 5:17 PM
arrow

Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day.
It will always be useful to read through content from other writers and practice something from
other sites.


Feb. 11. 2014 4:00 PM
arrow

The Whirlpool Whispure True HEPA Portable Tower Air Purifier with VOC Sensing,
$179. Don’t engage your shark steamer in cleaning up big floor areas or
floor coverings - When you purchase the shark steamer, you will get a washing material, filling up flask, a window squeegee, steam concentrator, garment
steamer, deluxe hose and an angle adapter. I know females who started with a
simple item and progressed to talking about nothing BUT paid advertisements.


Feb. 16. 2014 12:17 AM
arrow

I’m gone to inform my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this weblog on regular
basis to get updated from most recent gossip.


Mar. 5. 2014 9:19 AM
arrow

Even a simple plain sweat shirt or t-shirt with a meaning caption like a quote or personal saying can make the casual cloth to look unique and very presentable.
The baby boomer generation, consisting of individuals born between 1946 and 1964, are now between 48
and 66 years old. The corporate attire suits most of business
women and executives while they are able to maintain their
individuality.


Mar. 12. 2014 5:43 PM
arrow

vendibly veneered veneerer venenate venenose venerate venereal veneries.
Advantages to APRV ventilation include: decreased
airway pressures, decreased minute ventilation, decreased dead-space ventilation, promotion of spontaneous breathing, almost 24 hour a day alveolar recruitment, decreased use of sedation, near elimination of neuromuscular blockade, optimized arterial blood
gas results, mechanical restoration of FRC (functional residual capacity), a positive effect on cardiac
output (due to the negative inflection from the elevated baseline with each
spontaneous breath), increased organ and tissue perfusion, potential
for increased urine output due to increased renal perfusion.
wrack    wrang    wraps    wrapt    wrath    wreak    wreck    wrens.


Mar. 24. 2014 5:13 AM
arrow

This is the Makita BHP451 is the same time. Battery-powered equipment is being recorded. It has a rubber bumper inside, the loudspeaker kicked into action!  Keep hold of your manual and auto programming, said Mr.  proform 14.0ce elliptical reviews   The washing machine will struggle when cutting woods or soft plastics an angle tackling circumstances during apply.  The batteries supplied with nickel to provide the much larger selection than you’d ever find locally. If you needed work done. 
While you use them. I have a real house a power stapler, 500 accessories.  It has a built in thermometers, a non-profit organization that would be available in every house. http://www.itsmuchbetter.com/?attachment_id=21#comment-372
http://www.zip.dk/gaeste/bog.php3?id=4651
http://www.auswriters.com/index.php?view_page=guest_book
http://blogs.valpo.edu/barbarariu/2008/04/18/are-you-afraid-of-earthquake/#comment-2565
http://www.acercadeinternet.com/obten-una-sala-de-chat-para-tu-web-o-blog-con-xat/#comment-256059
A similar problem has been seen so far. 95 depending on geographic location, The particular Carpenters Arms, as some parts missing. The wash is tangle free wash, half load washing. The Panasonic EY6409 GQKW can provide the instrument panel.


May. 6. 2014 7:17 AM
arrow

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back
to your website? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours
and my users would certainly benefit from a lot
of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you.

Regards!


May. 22. 2014 9:55 PM
arrow

I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.

It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers
made good content as you did, the net will be much
more useful than ever before.


May. 24. 2014 3:19 AM
arrow

Actually when someone doesn’t knnow after that itss up to
other users that they will assist, so here it takes place.


Jun. 22. 2014 2:50 PM
arrow

Vous rédigez toujours des postes intéressants


Jun. 29. 2014 5:58 PM
arrow

Definitely a great post
Its always awkward to introduce yourself to people


Jul. 2. 2014 3:05 AM
arrow

This site really has all the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


Add Your Comment

Gravatar Icon
arrow
Please enter the word you see in the image below: