When a Formal Introduction Is Needed
Say your first chance of being with your coworkers is during your daily departmental debriefing where everyone--including the boss--is present. HR cheerfully fetches you from the building lobby and leads you to the meeting venue. HR bursts the door open, and you see a mix of stern, curious, condescending, amused, who-the-heck-is-that looks plastered on unfamiliar faces. You feel stomach acid rise to your throat and cold sweat trickle down your spine. What to do?
Don't just give a shy nod, a quick smile, and a blank look at your shoes--you are not a new student being introduced to your new middle school classmates. Give a powerful, one-stroke hand wave, flash a smile, and say "Hello" with eye contact. Eye contact while doing all those gestures simultaneously is extremely important to establish an impression on your new colleagues. Maintain this eye contact with your audience as you follow up your greeting with, "I'm (your name), the new (your position). I'm looking forward to working with all of you." Remember, no matter how clever your introductory spiel is, it is never going to work unless you look your new coworkers in the eye. This move alone shows that you aren't afraid to take on whatever good or bad awaits you in your new job with your new colleagues.
In dealing with one-on-one formal introductions, extend your hand to initiate a firm handshake (which you have surely mastered even before you had the application interview). Once you have exchanged names, don't forget to repeat the name of the person introduced to you. A "See you around, Jake" is way more effective than a mere "Hi" back.