When Dave introduces you to someone you’ve never met, something magical happens. You don’t know exactly what he’s going to say until he says it, but one thing is for sure…it’s going to be spectacular!
Dave Alabach is a good friend of mine from college. He is one of those people that makes you feel better about yourself whenever you are in his presence. A great quality.
One way he does this is how he introduces you to others. He does it better than anyone I know. Much better.
When you or I introduce two people who have never met, we probably say something like:
“Jeff, I’d like you to meet Katie Simmons, a good friend of mine. Katie, this is Jeff Franklin. Jeff and I work together at the bank.”
Pretty typical, eh? Also pretty boring.
Dave does it differently. He uses it as an opportunity to build you up in the other persons’ eyes.
How to Make an Introduction with Panache
This is how Dave would introduce you to my wife (this is almost verbatim what I heard him say on one occasion):
“You will love Dedee. She is one of the brightest people you will ever meet. We competed with each other on the Bradley Speech Team back in college and she gave one of the best persuasion speeches I’ve ever seen. It dealt with how utility companies can monopolize the marketplace. Spectacular! Not only did she win a national championship with that speech but it was published in a college textbook as an example of outstanding rhetoric. The two of you will love getting to know each other.”
And then Dave would say something equally marvelous about you as he introduced you to Dedee.
Amazing, isn’t it? Wouldn’t you love to be introduced like this?
There are many things I love about Dave’s approach:
- He puts your best qualities in full view…and you don’t need to say a word!
- He immediately gives you credibility in the other person’s eyes.
- He gives you and the other person some interesting things to talk about. In other words, he inspires conversation.
- He publicly states the ways in which he admires you which deepens your connection with him.
The recipe is simple, really.
Just choose one or two things that you truly admire about the people you’re introducing. The more specific, the better. Of course, avoid anything that they’d consider too personal or embarrassing.
Then…share them with gusto!
This technique is as applicable in professional situations as it is in personal settings. It can be a powerful way to affirm a co-worker or an employee. When I would assign a new salesperson to one of our advertisers, I’d use it as an opportunity to speak well of my employee:
“Mr. O’Connor, you will love working with Lisa. She is one of our best account executives. One of the things you’ll like most about working with Lisa is that she doesn’t drop details, which is very important when working with a complex business like yours. I have a sneaking suspicion she’ll become one of your most trusted advisers.
“Lisa, Mr. O’Connor is one of our most important clients. The vision he has for his company is fascinating. I hope the two of you will have the chance to talk about it. The way he approaches marketing and advertising is truly unique. I think he’ll teach you things that will benefit you throughout your career and help us to become a better company as well.”
Instead of a mundane introduction, I gave this new relationship a kickstart. An opportunity to bloom.
A Final Thought from Chaucer
One of my family’s favorite comedies is A Knight’s Tale starring the late Heath Ledger and Paul Bettany among others. Geoffrey Chaucer (Bettany) acts as a herald whose role is to introduce Sir Ulrich von Leichtenstein (Ledger) at a series of jousting tournaments. Chaucer’s introductions are some of the funniest moments in the film.
My friend Dave doesn’t introduce people with the same flourish as Chaucer. But like Chaucer, he creates a wondrous expectancy in the mind of his hearers.
What might happen if you did the same?
Question: What about you? How do you introduce others in a way that makes them shine? Share your tips below.