Have you ever stressed about how to start a conversation with a stranger? If so, You’ve come to the right place! You’re going to learn a skill that can open doors and lead to whole new ventures.
*Drum roll please*
Making the most exquisite, confident and effective self-introduction in Chinese! This article is going to teach you everything you need to know to make people remember you. Simply follow my instructions and you’ll never have to regret making a bad first impression on people.
Step 1: Show Your Presentable Smile
When people form first impressions of others within seconds, what can start a conversation better than a charming smile? A smile, which is 笑容 (Xiàoróng) in Chinese, can put even the shyest person at ease. Your smile can show others that you’re someone they can approach and trust. You can practice smiling in front of a mirror at home to make sure you are presentable. Other than a smile, you can also slightly bow to the guest to show your respect.
Step 2: Address/Greet Your Audience
It is essential to specifically greet the person you’re talking to be courteous. If you are approaching an esteemed guest or someone older than you, you can say 您好 (Nín hǎo), which is more formal than 你好 (Ní hǎo) even though both translate to “hello”. For example, if you want to greet Ms Chan, one of your guests, you should say 陳小姐，您好 (Chén xiǎojiě, nín hǎo). Besides 您好(Nín hǎo), you can say 早上好 (Zǎoshang hǎo) and 晚上好 (wǎnshàng hǎo) according to whether it is during daytime or nighttime. There is also a phrase 您近來好嗎？(Nín jìnlái hǎo ma?) that means “How have you been”.
Step 3: A Genuine Handshake
After catching your guest’s attention, don’t forget to give a confident handshake to show your sincerity! The handshake should be gentle but still firm. Don’t get too excited and break someone’s hand!
Step 4: A Proper Introduction
Be proactive and Introduce yourself clearly! You should have practised these lines beforehand, so don’t be scared that your Mandarin pronunciation is an embarrassment. They will likely appreciate your effort to greet them in their native language. Stay confident!
After reading this guide, you should be ready to stride up to a Chinese guest and confidently introduce yourself. Good luck!