An Introduction to Introductions

Author: Brook Hudson

Bon Soir!  I was just reflecting on the Sweetheart Tea Party and remember there was something I wanted to clarify.  I gave a list of pointers that I shared in my last post, one of which was a pointer on introductions.  Following my presentation to the Sweethearts and their moms, there were several questions about this topic, especially the order of introductions.

First let me start by saying that the simple act of doing an introduction no matter the order is a courteous gesture that shows respect and consideration.  There are two goals you should try to accomplish in any introduction – share names and promote conversation.  If you can accomplish those two things you are ahead of the game already!

Now for those who really want to step it up, the rule is to introduce the less senior to the more senior (I often think of it as presenting the less senior to the more senior)…this can be complicated if you overthink it.  Another way to describe it – mention the name of the person you are honoring first.  Here are two examples:

  • “Governor Heineman, I’d like to introduce my mother, Rhonda Matthews.  Mom, this is Governor Heineman.”
  • “Aunt Millie, I’d like to introduce my friend Katie Allen.  I believe Katie’s grandmother lives in your neighborhood. Katie this is Aunt Millie.”

Deference is not the only we reason we introduce in this order.  We also do this because it captures the attention of the person we are trying to honor, who is often pulled in many directions in social situations.  In terms of determining who is the honoree in an introduction, you should consider age and rank.  The eldest in an introduction is the honoree, as is the highest ranking person.  For instance, you would never introduce you boss to your intern.  Rather, you would introduce (or present) your intern to your boss.

I hope this helps clear up any confusion – feel free to post if you have any further questions or comments on introductions.



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