Meeting someone for the first time is important. This first meeting can be especially difficult in a foreign language with a different culture.
This post is going to be all about how to introduce yourself in English. That’s right, I am going to discuss the different possible ways to greet someone and how to answer: tell me more about yourself!
It is important to realize that there are basically two types of situations.
Formal interactions require a less relaxed behavior following customs and procedure.
These types of interactions could be one of the following:
Meeting with a government official
Talking to your boss at work
Speaking with someone older than you
Meeting someone famous or that you admire
In formal interactions, it is best to offer a handshake to the other individual.
To do this follow these steps:
Extend your arm to the mid-torso area.
Open your hand with your palm facing inward.
Make a big welcoming smile with your mouth.
Once they offer their hand as well make sure you give a firm handshake.
Some people give what is called a dead fish handshake. This feels like the person is holding a dead fish when they give you a handshake.
Your hand should be firm and you should apply a slight pressure to their hand when shaking hands. Eye contact is very important and should be maintained during this time.
Once physical contact has been made a verbal greeting is appropriate. There are many different ways to give a greeting and introduce yourself for formal settings.
The one that I prefer is the following:
My name is Brian. How do you do?
Here are some other ways of greeting and introducing yourself:
Hello. I am Brian.
Hello. My name is Brian.
Good (morning, afternoon or evening), my name is Brian.
Generally, other people will respond and give your their name as well.
If they don’t give their name, then you should ask them.
Here are some different ways of asking others for their name in a formal setting:
May I have your name?
What is your name?
I didn’t catch your name.
In informal settings, we can be more relaxed. These are interactions that are more casual.
Here are examples of situations that are informal:
Birthday party events
Meeting acquaintances of friends
Talking to someone much younger than you
Here are some informal ways of asking for their name:
After anyone gives you their name for the first time, you should say it back to them as a courtesy.
This should be done regardless if the setting is formal or informal. In repeating back their name, you are less likely to forget it later.
The way to say their name back to them could be one of the following:
It is nice to meet you Mary.
Nice to meet you Mary.
Well, Mary, welcome (this works if you are hosting the event).
It is a pleasure meeting you Mary.
From this point, the conversation is up to you. You can ask questions about how they know your friend.
As a rule, we should always be polite when meeting new people. A handshake is always appropriate, but you might need to adapt to what the other person insists on doing. For example, they might want to hug or bump fists.
Follow their lead to avoid an awkward situation. After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans. Be sure to smile during this interaction. Don’t make it look like it is your first time on Earth.
When a conversation happens it would look like this:
A: Are you enjoying the class?
B: Yes, it is okay.
A: I am Brian, what is your name?
B: My name is Marilia.
A: Marilia, where are you from?
B: I am from Brazil, and you?
A: I am from the United States. How long have you been in the country?
B: I have been for just one month.
A: Are you here on business or for fun?
B: Neither one, I am here just to take this course.
A: We have fifteen minutes for the break. Do you want to go get some coffee?
B: Sure, that’s sounds great!
However, if someone asks you to introduce yourself in a meeting situation, then the response is a little more complicated.
Usually, what they are waiting for is five to six sentences for other people in the room to acquire facts about you so that they have an idea about who you are and your personality.
For example, you could give your name, your age, your occupation, where you are from and something that you like.
I would say:
My name is Brian Thornton. I am thirty-five years old. I am an English teacher and blog writer. I am from New York City and I love to travel.