Hi, My Name is……?

Until recently I had never questioned the way I introduced myself.

It was at a recent training session that I observed a number of introductions that I found particularly weird. People were introducing themselves, first with a handshake (naturally) and then their full names (first and last name). I was the only one that stuck out my hand and said my first name. I was in shock – had I been introducing myself wrong all along? Was I supposed to include my last name in every introduction I made?

So I began thinking, what is the right way of introducing yourself and what is the correct protocol? If you are unsure (like me), here are some handy tips for introducing yourself:

  • Keep it simple: Have you ever heard of the saying ‘less is more’? The same goes for introductions. Keep it short and sweet and limited to essential ‘need to knows’. This paves the way for natural communication later.
  • Note the setting: There is a time and a place for everything – including introductions. You can include your last name but only where necessary. It is really up to you to gauge the situation, for instance would you really include your last name and job title when being introduced to your partner’s parents? Or even at an informal business meeting? Keep your introduction in context with the setting.
  • Be Yourself: Remember to be humble. No matter how great your job title is, at the end of the day there is no point of intimidating everyone you meet. Always focus on the other person, be a great listener, smile and allow the conversation to progress naturally.

The most important point to remember is that first impressions are important! People tend to make up their mind about you within the first 20-30 seconds of meeting and form a judgement about you that can stick long after meeting. So to put your best foot forward and get your introductions right!


Written by Natassja Ford