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Hello, how do you do? My name is Jeremiah Bourque. It’s a pleasure to meet you.
In three sentences, I have just given you a lesson on how to make a greeting.
#1: Breaking the Ice
Figuratively speaking, to break the ice is to reduce the wall of separation between the speaker and the listener. This is an invisible social wall that exists around all of us.
Greeting a stranger makes most of us nervous and emotional. We want to be welcomed. We want to to see a smile on the other person’s face. Most importantly, we want to make the other person comfortable with us. This way, we reduce the other person’s nervousness and raise our chances of a successful encounter.
#2: The Name
In modern English-language culture, people are busy. They are constantly pressured by society. People want to be greeted nicely, but they also want to be greeted efficiently.
Before continuing any further, inform the other person of your name in a polite, friendly way. This shows that you are taking the first steps towards forming a personal relationship.
If the person has heard of your name, or knows a friend of yours, you might be recognized. If the person has not heard of you, or does not remember hearing of you, your name becomes the title of the file created in the other person’s brain relating to who you are, what you look like, and what kind of person you are. This is why you must name yourself quickly.
#3: Rewarding The Other Person
Telling the other person that it is a pleasure to meet them means that you are honored and flattered just to be able to say hello. This is not putting yourself down; it is being pleasant and warm.
This creates an incentive for the other person. The listener will understand that speaking to you can be enjoyable. This is a wonderful break from dealing with unfriendly, cold people. Unfortunately, the time pressure on English-speaking society means far too many people are cold to each other in normal, everyday situations. Be the exception to this rule.
In addition, being polite and rewarding the other person for his or her trouble makes you memorable and helps others to remember you in a positive way.
An Old Saying
“You have only one chance to make a first impression.”
Make your opportunity count.
A Measured Pace
By identifying yourself by name early, but not with the first few words, you can greet another person without rushing. By being efficient with your words, you can take your time and focus on being clear, pleasant, and courteous.
These steps will help you greet others successfully.
This has been Jeremiah Bourque, English tutor and administrator of English Idioms on Facebook.