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Introductions—we all have to make them. The worst introductions are bumbling at best, while the best ones are the beginnings of beautiful friendships. We’re aiming for the latter. Proper introduction etiquette isn’t hard to master, so brush up on the rules, and you’ll be prepared the next time you have the opportunity to make an introduction.

Introduce in Order

The person making the introduction is someone who knows both parties and can connect the two, but that person must also decide in what order to make the introduction. According to emilypost.com, the order of introductions usually calls for introducing younger people to older people (i.e. children to adults) and those of junior rank to those of senior rank (i.e. interns to bosses). According to Debrett’s, “A new arrival should be introduced to a group. Husbands and wives should be introduced separately by name (‘John and Emma Debrett’), not as ‘The Debretts’.”

Begin the introduction

A general introductory phrase should be employed in order to begin an introduction. Phrases such as “I’d like to introduce…” or “I’d like you to meet…” are appropriate ways to introduce two or more people. The Emily Post Institute also recommends using “preferred names and titles,” and to err on the side of formality rather than familiarity.

Make a Connection

If you know that the two people you’re introducing have something in common, mention it in order to start a conversation between them. If not, share some context about each person in order to facilitate a conversation.

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

It’s helpful for all involved if you make a point to repeat the names of the people you’re introducing during the conversation. This will ensure that they’re less likely to forget each other’s names after the introductions have happened. Also, Debrett’s recommends, “If someone gets your name wrong, correct them as soon as possible, enunciating clearly and firmly but politely, so there is no mistake.”

To learn more, visit emilypost.com, and also be sure to browse the introduction etiquette found at Debrett’s.

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What are your go-to strategies for introducing people? Any helpful tips you’ve picked up when making introductions?