Etiquette of Introductions and Greetings

Let’s consider this scenario. You are in the company of two people who do not know each other. As the common person to both parties, it is your responsibility to do the introductions.

The etiquette of introductions requires that a younger person is introduced or presented to an older person, a gentleman to a woman, and a person of lower rank to a higher ranked person. However, in doing so, the name of the higher ranked official or older person is mentioned first. The example below illustrates how a ‘Governor’ and ‘President’ are introduced to each other:

“President Uche, may I to introduce to you Governor Ola; Governor Ola, President Uche”

The proper form is to repeat the names of the two people being introduced at the close of the introduction as shown above. This last formality may however be omitted.

The person being introduced is now obliged to kick-start the conversation. For example Governor Ola above should say to President Uche:

“It is my pleasure to form your acquaintance President Uche”


“It is my pleasure to meet you sir”

• Notice that the ‘Governor’ (lower ranked) was introduced to the ‘President’ (higher ranked)

• Notice also that the ‘President’ was mentioned first because he is the one to whom the introduction or presentation is being made.

At end of the introductions, it is helpful if the person carrying out the introduction mentions one or two things about the people being introduced to ease their conversation.

“President Uche, may I introduce to you Governor Ola; Governor Ola is the first Governor of the newly created Atlas State.”

It would be wrong to pretend you heard the name of the person being introduced only to forget when you need to mention their name. If either of the people being introduced missed a name, that individual should feel free to make this known by saying:

“I beg your pardon; I did not catch the name”

If the higher ranked person is also younger, the higher rank rule should still take precedence. However, this should be considered within the context of the prevailing culture and etiquette. EtiquetteBank