First impressions count. And there's no better way to start off on a positive note than to orchestrate a smooth, genial exchange of introduction. Follow these etiquette tips when approaching someone for the first time:
Watch your timing. Establish your presence in a small group before you introduce yourself. Make eye contact with each individual first. You don't want to appear as if you're "crashing" a conversation.
Higher-ups extend the first hand. Chivalry may not be dead, but it's dying. It used to be considered proper for a man to wait for a woman to extend her hand before shaking it. Today, the individual who carries the more important job title or authority level initiates a handshake.
Stand and shake. Never remain seated when you're introduced to someone who's standing alongside you. The old-fashioned custom of having men stand while women remain seated has lost its currency. You're expected to stand and shake someone's hand so that your first words are exchanged eye-to-eye.
Lead with rank. If you're handling the introductions between two people meeting for the first time, begin by introducing the higher-ranking person to the other one.
It's "Ms. Greater Importance, I'd like you to me Mr. Lesser Importance," she says. Many people still adhere to outmoded, gender-based etiquette in which the woman's name was always used first.
Give "just the facts." Make introductions without "funny" asides. Just state full names clearly and official job titles or where they're from.