The Most Intelligent Line in Networking


Everyone wants to sound intelligent. The tongue-tying predicament that seems to worry people most about networking is, "I won't know what to say."

Here are the most important words in networking, that will make you the star of any event:
"Have you met…"

Because the person who says the most profound things, will never be as prized as the one who makes introductions.

Here are some instructions for introductions:

  • In business, everyone stands for an introduction. (This is different from social etiquette, where men stand to greet women and younger women stand to greet older women.)
  •  When introducing two people, you are presenting one person to another. You can say, "Have you met…." "Do you know…" or simply, "This is…"
  •  "May I present…" is more formal. Use that for a state dinner or any other event with a receiving line.
  • When introducing your spouse, just use your spouse's first name, unless your spouse has a different last name from yours.
  • Do not use an honorific or title when introducing yourself or your spouse. You would not say, "I'm Dr…" or "Mr. or Ms…"

There's a protocol to introductions. The first name you say in an introduction is the person who is:

1. More senior in rank
2. Outside your organization or company
3. Official: an elected official, a judge, a member of the clergy, etc.
4. Older, distinguished

An easy way to remember is to say first, the name of the person you are honoring. (But as an Iowan, I can't help noticing the acronym spells, "MOOO." Sorry, had to milk that for what it's worth.)

1. More senior in rank

2. Outside your organization or company

3. Official: an elected official, a judge, a member of the clergy, etc.

4. Older, distinguished


An easy way to remember is to say first, the name of the person you are honoring. (But as an Iowan, I can't help noticing the acronym spells, "MOOO." Sorry, had to milk that for what it's worth.)

Next time you find yourself in a networking fix, don't be tongue-tied or cowed, introduce people to each other. That will expand your own network, more than the most profound thing you can say.



Culture and Manners Institute at www.cultureandmanners.com