The Art of Meeting and Greeting People

Lesson 1/6 - Introductions

 

The Art of Meeting and Greeting People

 

Lesson Info

Introductions

The art of meeting and greeting people. We've done a lot of preparatory work. We've done concept work about etiquette. We've looked at image and attire and personal brand, how you start to build a story about yourself that you can be proud of, that you think represents you well. And we've looked at particular concrete actions you can take to develop that. Now I wanna focus on where relationships begin. Etiquette is about relationships. The ways that we interact with other people, the introduction, the greeting, the meeting is the beginning of your relationship story with someone. The way that you manage an introduction, the way that you manage a parting is really fundamentally important in the story arc of a relationship. This is the moment where you meet someone for the first time. That etiquette book Kiss, Bow, Shake Hands, that is so important in the etiquette community, important about writing, that is so important when you think about writing about etiquette. Tells the story of th...

e importance of first meetings and introductions no matter what particular set of manners you use to navigate those first encounters. You've got to honor it. You've got to honor that moment when you come into contact with someone for the first time. I wanna honor coming into contact with all of you by saying welcome. It's my pleasure to be here with you today. My name is Daniel Post Senning and it is a pleasure to meet you. It's funny, I have a hard time not extending my hand to shake as if we were gonna shake hands because I think of that as such an important part of self introductions and first encounters. We're gonna talk about that in just a second here. I wanna talk about the other things that we're gonna talk about. I wanna share an agenda with you so you have some idea of what you can expect as far as information and content in this course. I wanna talk about first impressions, the importance of first impressions. I also wanna talk about doing self introductions, how you introduce yourself is fundamentally important. There is a lost art around making introductions, how you introduce people to each other, the original social networking skill. This is one of those places where traditional etiquette, the etiquette from the days of Emily Post, my great, great grandmother and her first book of etiquette in 1922 are still really informative and illuminating about what we do today. We're then gonna transition from introductions and how you first encounter people to how you start to build, grow and sustain relationships once you've met people and the place that that's most likely to happen is through a conversation that begins with that encounter. So, we're gonna look at basic conversation skills. We're gonna look at listening skills and we're gonna look at how to manage what you do say in a conversation so that you're able to participate intelligently and well. And then finally, we're gonna talk about one of my favorite traditional etiquette concepts magic words. So, let's begin with introductions. Why do introductions matter? What are the cliches? What are the things that people say the most often about first impressions? You don't need to think too hard to start hearing. Well, they can be awkward and we're gonna talk about avoiding that awkward first impression in just a second. First impressions can make or break you and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. How you handle yourself says a great deal about you. Proceeding with confidence and security says a great deal about you. Hi, I'm Dan Post Senning from The Emily Post Institute. It's a pleasure to meet you. I know who I am, I know where I'm from and I know what I'm doing. That's communicating a lot very quickly. All right, so we're gonna take our etiquette hat off for just a second. We're gonna take our English major hat and put it on. Pop quiz. What's the most famous line from the English theater? Give it a try. What's the first thought that comes to your mind when I say what's the most famous line from the English theater? To be or not to be? To be or not to be, yeah, yeah, that's what I was thinking. Absolutely, it's the most famous line in the English theater without question. No matter what audience I'm talking to I almost always get to be or not to be. I won't say I will always get it because every once in a while someone says break a leg. And I say, no, that's not a line from the theater. That's something you say to someone before they walk out on stage. Unless they're a dancer then you say (speaks in foreign language) because you don't wanna tell them to go break a leg. What's the play? Give it a shot, you know it. It's Shakespearean, I know that much. It's Shakespearean, it absolutely is. One of the greatest playwrights of all time, one of those incredible authors to write in the English language. Shakespeare, the play is Hamlet. Thank you Alicia Silverstone and the movie Clueless I will never forget and if you haven't seen that movie go watch it and then you'll never forget either. What's going on in Hamlet? What's the plot of the play? What's going on in the play Hamlet? He's a young prince and his father has been murdered by his uncle. His uncle has married his mother and taken the throne that would usually in the order of succession pass to Hamlet. And Hamlet's got to decide what he's gonna do about this situation. The moment when he delivers the famous line to be or not to be, he's actually contemplating his own death. He's contemplating his demise. He's trying to decide what he's gonna do. Is he gonna go challenge his uncle for the throne that really is by all rights his? To be or not to be. His uncle's kind of try to buy him off at this point. He's offered him some money, you can go tour Europe, Paris was nice back then, Rome was nice back then just like they are nice cities today. You could take this money and go. To be or not to be. Or he could just check out completely. He could be so just corrupted and horrified by what's happened that he abandons who he is. Why do actors love this line so much? They love it because they get to wrestle with existential angst. The questions that are fundamental that all of us wrestle with. Who are we? What are we doing? What are we meant to do? Are we doing that thing? You get to do it all in one line, to be or not to be, that is the question. That's why everyone loves that line. That's why it's the most famous line in the English theater. This is not the moment for existential angst. I go into the Hamlet story because it's fun to think about those things. And we wanna think about those things. We don't wanna become incapacitated by them. We wanna approach our lives with confidence and security and that's how we wanna present to people particularly when we're meeting on the business situations and context. I know who I am, I know where I'm from, I know what I'm doing. Again, thank you Alicia Silverstone, thank you Clueless. There's another famous line from that play, know thyself, to thine own self be true but that wasn't Hamlet, that was Polonius who was giving him some advice about how to conduct himself, how to proceed. I think it happens pretty early in the play and it's meant to be the call to action that pushes Hamlet forward. Know thyself. To thine own self be true. Making that self introduction, having the courage to walk up to a stranger and introduce yourself is a difficult thing to do. It's a challenge, it's a task. Managing self introductions is easier if you approach groups where you know one person already. Hopefully they're gonna make an introduction, we're gonna talk about people introducing people to each other and how useful and helpful that is, what an important social skill it is. It's important because it helps someone get over that awkward moment, that difficult moment where they say to themselves, oh, I have to do this, I don't want to. Engage, engage physically. Nod, make eye contact. Don't interrupt, interrupting is rude. Wait for that opportunity to engage the discussion. When that opportunity arrives try to participate with as many people as possible. Try to build some sort of connection by making a reference to a shared experience or a common interest. We're gonna talk about social goal setting when we talk about business social skills in another course. This is a place where you can challenge yourself with some social goals. I'm gonna introduce myself to someone today. When you're at a conference, I'm gonna introduce myself to three people today. Social goal setting works really effectively in helping get over that fear of the awkward first encounter. The other thing that can help get over that fear of the awkward first encounter is to know what you're gonna do. You're gonna identify yourself. Hi, I'm Dan Post Senning. You're gonna take some control or ownership of the moment. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm from The Emily Post Institute. I'm visiting from Vermont. I'm sharing just a little bit about yourself so that you invite that conversation that can begin that relationship.

Class Description

A first impression can make or break a relationship. If you come off as awkward, rude or silly when you meet someone, that could spoil the connection forever. But if you appear kind, confident and witty, you’ll have the person in the palm of your hand.

This course tackles the ins and outs of introductions, first impressions, and initial conversations, so you can walk into potentially difficult situations feeling confident, knowing how to act and never at a loss for words.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Introduce yourself and others gracefully.
  • Extend and build on introductions.
  • Know what to say and what not to say in conversations.
  • Listen to people so they know they’re being heard.
  • Shake hands properly in the era of hugs and fist bumps.
  • Handle a situation where you don’t know or forget someone’s name.
  • Make conversation that’s safe but interesting.
  • Manage potentially controversial topics like politics and religion.
  • Discuss personal topics that require the most care and tact.

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