Formal introductions are very similar to normal introductions. So, if you already have a good understanding of normal introductions, then this unit will be no problem! It's still important, however, to study formal introductions, as you want to make a good first impression when you meet somebody new at work or a formal event. Let's get started and have a look at the tables below!
Formal GreetingsHere we have gathered the most important formal greetings. Keep in mind that when you introduce yourself to someone in a formal setting, it is very important in the English-speaking world to shake hands and look the other person in the eye while doing so.
The sentence pattern I'd like to introduce + NOUN/NAME. is used when you want to introduce somebody other than yourself. For example: I'd like to introduce Emily. We work in finance together. Alternatively, you could use the sentence pattern: Let me introduce + NAME to do the same thing. Our example would thus look like this: Let me introduce Emily. We work in finance together. There are a couple of things you could say in response. For example you could continue your introduction by saying something more about the person you are introducing: We are working together on a project.
Just like with normal introductions you want to use this phrase after somebody has given you their name. Another way to say this is It's a pleasure to meet you, but you could even say It's an honor to meet you or Pleased to make your acquaintance. In response, simply say any of these phrases back and add too to the end of the phrase: It's nice to meet you too.
Continuing a Formal ConversationThe sentences in the table below are examples of how you can keep a conversation going once you have exchanged names with somebody. Notice that in formal contexts conversational topics are usually about business and careers (although family is usually also not off-topic).
A specialization refers to something that you are an expert in or to the specific type of work you do. To tell someone what your specialization is, use the sentence pattern My specialization is in + NOUN.. Here is another example of how to use this pattern: My specialization is in park management. In response, someone might say something like: How long have you been doing that?. Instead of telling someone your specialization, you could just tell them the field you work in. To do this, use the sentence pattern: I work in + NOUN. For example: I work in the design industry. Someone might respond with a question like: Do you enjoy your work?.
A business card is something that you can easily take with you into business situations and give to others. It provides things like your contact information, job title, or position in the company. In business contexts it would be useful to get the contact information of others you are talking to or to be able to give your information to them. Another way you could ask for somebody's contact information is to ask How can I get in contact with you? or Can I get your email address?. Somebody might respond with: I do, let me give you one.
Formal GoodbyesAt the end of a formal introduction it is normal to shake hands again with the person you just met. It's also a good time to exchange contact information like, business cards, emails, or phone numbers.
Another way to say this phrase is to say It was nice meeting you. You could even say It was an honor to meet you, but you might want to save that one for exceptionally formal settings or if you meet your hero someday! Regardless, it's important to say one of these phrases before leaving a formal setting in order to show your appreciation of the other person taking time to get to know you. If somebody says one of these phrases to you, then simply repeat it but add too to the end of the sentence: It was nice meeting you too or It was a pleasure meeting you too.
If you have not exchanged business cards or any contact information during your conversation with somebody new, then it's a good idea to say this phrase before you both leave. It's your last chance so you should use it! You could also say Let me give you my email or Let me give you my phone number. Somebody might answer with something like: Thank you, I will give you mine as well.
Answers to the Most Common Questions
What are the most important English phrases that I need to know when giving a formal introduction?
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What is the structure of a formal introduction in English?
When you meet somebody new in a formal setting it is best to first shake their hand and make eye contact while you do this. Then you introduce yourself by giving you name and maybe your field, position in a company, or job title. Afterwards, it's polite to ask for the other person's name and field. Once the conversation comes to an end, you should shake the person's hand again and exchange contact information.
How does formal English differ from informal English?
Compared to other languages, there isn't a huge difference between informal and formal English. The biggest difference that you'll probably notice, is that first names are usually avoided in formal settings. You will want to stick to Mrs. / Mr. + LAST NAME. In formal English, you also want to avoid contractions and shortening phrases. So, for example, instead of saying I'm Sarah. you'd want to say My name is Sarah., or instead of Nice to meet you. you'd say It is nice to meet you.. Formal English is really only used in business settings, like interviews and meetings, and at formal gatherings, like graduation from university, formal dinners, or scholarship events. Some professors in the English-speaking world also prefer to stick to formal English. English speakers are a friendly bunch though, so don't sweat it if you use an informal phrase in a formal setting by accident. We'll understand!
How do I formally introduce somebody else?
Here are the two most common ways to introduce somebody else when in a formal situation: I'd like to introduce + NOUN/NAME.
- I'd like to introduce my coworker, Gary.
- I'd like to introduce my head of staff, Alexandra.
- I'd like to introduce my fiancé, Daniel.