When the art of making an introduction succumbs to “scientism,” that ever-encroaching beast of statistics and percentages, and charts and graphs — that faux display of critical thinking, with its color-coded points of inflection and its seemingly infinite range of footnotes and appendices — one thing is clear: Tradition is dead, customs have no meaning and basic decency is as foreign to most people as the scenarios and game theories that distort something so simple into something so horrifyingly complex.
An introduction is an exercise in manners, an exchange of pleasantries and an expression of body language — the grip-and-grin confidence of a leader, a conversationalist by inclination and a refined speaker by practice, who, like the best politicians, can envelop two people in the radiance of his personal charm and the warmth of his natural charisma.
Such an introduction is a sight to behold, from the gentle but never patronizing placement of that leader’s hand on the shoulder of his colleague to the handshake between that same CEO or head of state and the third party to this meeting.
The recipients gather — and share common ground — because the host of this planned or impromptu summit knows how to navigate the bonds of friendship and avoid the shoals of opposition.
He is a counselor, a conciliator and a commander in chief.
He uses words, not numbers, to do what a grand introduction should do: Bring people together.