presentazione formale

How to introduce yourself formally in Italian

presentazione formale

The art of formal presentation in the Italian language

In Italian culture, formal presentation is a crucial aspect that reflects respect and courtesy among individuals. A key element of this practice is the use of “lei” as a form of courtesy. Learning to introduce oneself appropriately is fundamental to establishing professional and personal relationships in Italy.

For information on informal intruduction: Come presentarsi in modo informale in italiano.

P.Bindi: Buongiorno, Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di presentarmi. Sono Paolo Bindi.
M.Rivelli: Buongiorno dott. Bindi, l’aspettavamo.

(handshaking)

P.Bindi: Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di presentarle la mia collaboratrice, la dottoressa Magli.
M.Rivelli: Maria Rivelli.
F.Magli: Francesca Magli.

(handshaking)

F.Magli: Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di complimentarmi, il suo ufficio è molto bello.
M.Rivelli: La ringrazio, è davvero gentile. Prego, si accomodino.
P.Bindi: Benissimo Signora Rivelli, le invierò la documentazione per mail.
M.Rivelli: La ringrazio, arrivederla.

The use of “buongiorno”

P.Bindi: Buongiorno, Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di presentarmi. Sono Paolo Bindi.

It is customary to start the conversation with formal greetings, “Buongiorno,” until noon, and “Buonasera” for the afternoon and evening.

The use of the title before the surname

P.Bindi: Buongiorno, Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di presentarmi. Sono Paolo Bindi.
M.Rivelli: Buongiorno dott. Bindi, l’aspettavamo.

An important aspect is the use of the surname preceded by a title, such as “Mrs.” or “Mr.” or “Doctor.” When addressing someone with whom you have a formal relationship, it is advisable to use the surname preceded by the title. For example, “Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di presentarmi…” It’s better to use the title with the person’s name being addressed and to state one’s own name without a title: “Sono Paolo Bindi.”

The handshake

The importance of the handshake cannot be underestimated. In Italy, a handshake is considered a formal practice that underscores mutual respect. A firm handshake, not too strong, is often accompanied by eye contact and a courteous smile. This gesture is a tangible sign of openness and friendliness that strengthens the bond between people.

In what order are people presented

P. Bindi: Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di presentarle la mia collaboratrice, la dottoressa Magli.

The rule dictates that the person of lesser “importance” should be introduced to the one with a higher status, by gender, seniority, and hierarchy.

So:

  • a man is introduced to a woman (unless introducing a woman to a religious figure or a very important person);
  • the young are introduced to the elderly;
  • the person you are more familiar with to the person you know less;
  • the person with less prestige to the one with more prestige.

Argomenti di conversazione: i complimenti

F.Magli: Signora Rivelli, mi permetta di complimentarmi, il suo ufficio è molto bello.
M.Rivelli: La ringrazio, è davvero gentile.

In a formal conversation in Italian culture, even in a professional setting, using a few compliments can play a significant role in creating a positive and refined atmosphere. Compliments, when given sincerely and tastefully, can help establish a deeper and friendlier connection between the involved individuals.

“Prego” in Italian. The wildcard word

Prego, si accomodino.

“Prego, si accomodi.”, when addressing a single individual, and “Prego, si accomodino.”, when addressing multiple people, are the classic phrases to allow people to enter a room or sit in formal settings.

The use of LEI

The key to successful formal introduction is the use of the courtesy form “lei.” In Italy, the transition from “tu” to “lei” implies a change in tone and represents a sign of mutual respect. For example, instead of saying “Come ti chiami?” the more formal “Come si chiama?” is used.
An effective way to become familiar with the courtesy form is to attend Italian courses, participate in guided conversations, and practice with native speakers. For more information about the use of “lei”: How to use the courtesy form in Italian:LEI.

How do you bid farewell?

Regarding the use of “lei”…

M. Rivelli: La ringrazio, arrivederla.

“Arrivederla!” is the formal version of “Arrivederci!”

In conclusion, presenting oneself formally in the Italian language requires not only a correct application of grammar rules but also a deep understanding of culture and social norms, with the awareness that these practices will contribute to creating positive and lasting relationships.
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