It is said that first impressions are lasting impressions, so what to say when introducing yourself to someone can be critically important. You want to come across as friendly, yet not excessively so; talkative, yet not dominate the conversation.
Here are some ways to find a balance and introduce yourself in a way that gives a good first impression:
1. Mention a mutual friend
When you are in the situation where you want to meet someone but you’re unsure about how to break the ice, ask yourself if the two of you have a friend in common.
Even if that person is not there, you can walk up to the person and say, “Don’t you know so-and-so?” When they say yes, you can then use that as a springboard to introducing yourself to them.
2. Dive right in
On the other hand, if you see someone at a place (bar, social gathering, church meeting), and you do not know them at all, the direct approach can be the best. You just walk right up to the person and say, “How do you do? My name is (fill in the blank)” After that, you can then launch into what it is you want to talk to them about.
3. The business deal
If you are looking to talk to the person about a business matter, the key is to get to the point; you’re not going to win points by engaging in chitchat. Step up to the person, offer them your hand for a firm handshake, and say, “Good day, Mr/Ms (blank); my name is (blank). Could I speak to you for a moment?”
4. The flirt
When it comes to chasing a man or woman in a social setting for the purposes of a date, you want to be fun and flirty, but not lame.
In years gone past something like, “Hey, baby, what’s your (astrological) sign?” was the height of cool. A much better approach these days is the compliment. Or, if you’re in a museum or at a party or some other social setting, compliment something in the room.
In the case of the former, something like, “You have such lovely eyes.” Or if the person is very professional, “That is a sharp suit; where’d you get it?” would go down well. You can also always offer to buy them a drink.
With the latter situations, you could point out a very interesting piece of artwork in the room or some other pleasant feature and say, “That piece of art is lovely; what do you think?”
In a place like a bookstore, asking someone their opinion about a new book can also be a good way of introducing yourself to them: “I hear the new (blank) just came out. Have you read it?”
5. Reminding them
If you’ve met someone in the past, but they don’t remember you, the subtle reminder is what to say when introducing yourself to someone.
You could say, “I know you; we met at (fill in the blank).” If they don’t remember you, you simply tell them your name and mention details of your previous interaction.
6. Asking for directions
This can be most helpful when you want to meet someone in a totally generic location.
You see a man or woman in a diner, outside a store, on the street, and so on. With no hint as to their personality, stepping up to them and saying, “Excuse me, do you know where (blank) is?” can be a good icebreaker.
Next time you’re meeting someone for the first time; it can be an easy process. The key to knowing what to say when introducing yourself to someone is gauging the situation, and making use of these simple tips.