The magic of introductions

March 26 2013

If you’ve been the recipient of a polished introduction, you’ve probably failed to recognize its subtle magic. An introduction is a moment of alchemy; part ceremonious, part craft, part prologue. It’s quick, seemingly effortless, and gracefully leads you into an engaging discussion. In the blink of an eye, you’re feeling confident, interesting, interested, and at ease.

A savvy intro builds a bridge between two strangers and shows them a path worth exploring. Most people know how to introduce. Few people know how to turn an introduction into magic.

Improve your next introduction with these 5 easy tips:

1. Do your research.

Know who you are connecting and why. Your familiarity with both parties gives you the upper hand. Use this knowledge to help strangers find common ground.

2. Make it interesting.

Add flavor and insert facts that raise eyebrows. It’s difficult to remember names, but providing a memorable story or colorful detail creates a current for conversation to sail upon.

3. Be smart.

Most people have a gaggle of items running through their mind at any given moment. Your introduction should make it easier for two strangers to engage, not more difficult. Be explicit, direct, and clearly state the intention behind your introduction.

4. Build a platform.

Your introduction sets the tone for conversation to follow. Help those who are meeting each other for the first time enter a comfortable, balanced space. By speaking confidently, clearly, and warmly, you’ll create an environment that’s prime for establishing rapport.

5. Exit gracefully.

Sometimes an introduction is so fantastically successful, you’re doing a disservice by sticking around. Other times, two individuals might struggle to get conversation off the ground. Tune into what’s needed for genuine connection — and know when to leave.