6 Tips To Help You Make A Good First Impression
When you first meet someone, it takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for you to evaluate each other. And that forms the basis of your first impression.
In just these couple of seconds, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.
And every time you meet a new person, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed.
These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.
It’s not always easy to make that first great impression.
But it is definitely worth attempting as much as you possibly can.
To help you make it happen more often, I have three simple rules you should always follow.
While they are not the only great advice on making a good first impression, they are the things that will have the biggest impact – whether you get them right or wrong.
I suggest you get them right 😉
Tip #1 – Dress To Impress.
Pay attention to what you’re wearing.
This may seem very superficial, but that’s what first impressions are all about.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so the “picture” you first present needs to demonstrate who you are to the person you are meeting.
Overdress just a little if it’s an important first meeting like going to a job interview or meeting the future in-laws for the first time.
At the very least make sure that what you’re wearing is neat and flattering.
Don’t go crazy, and when in doubt go for something somewhat conservative.
You can always let your personality shine after you’ve made that great first impression.
Tip #2 – Be On Time.
Another very important thing to remember is to always be on time.
It makes you look prepared and reliable.
But there’s another important reason for this.
The world is made up of two types of people.
The first group is a stickler for time. Being late is one of their biggest pet peeves.
The other group has a more loose interpretation of being on time and doesn’t mind waiting for someone for a few minutes or being late themselves.
The problem is that you never know what camp the person you’re about to meet will fall into ahead of time.
So be prepared and make sure you get there on time or even a little early.
Arriving early is much better that arriving late and is the first step toward creating a great first impression.
It’ll look good no matter how the person you’re meeting will feel about time and it will definitely keep you from making a bad impression with a time stickler.
Tip #3 – Have a Winning Smile!
As the saying goes, “Smile and the world smiles too.”
There’s nothing like a smile to create a good first impression.
A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease.
So smiling is a winner when it comes to great first impressions.
But don’t go overboard with this – people who take this too far can seem insincere and smarmy.
Tip #4 – Make Eye Contact.
Looking someone in the eye conveys that you are confident and interested in what they have to say.
In Western countries like the U.S., eye contact shows respect to the person you’re meeting with.
It also conveys a sense of interest in the conversation.
And, on the other side, looking away too much will make you appear distracted.
Like with most things, it’s a good idea to not overdo it; if you don’t take breaks now and again, your eye contact could be viewed as staring, which has negative connotations.
Just work to be natural and engaged.
Tip #5 – Be an Attentive Listener.
When someone is talking to you, you want to show them that you’re listening and paying attention.
Focus on the other person and what they are saying.
As I mentioned, try to maintain eye contact as they’re speaking and try not to get distracted.
Listening is important to establishing and maintaining relationships.
Tip #6 – Think Before You Speak.
It’s easy to get nervous and just prattle on about anything and everything.
But it makes you look nervous and silly.
Or, even worse, if you don’t think before you talk it’s very easy to put your foot in your mouth.
Trust me, I’ve done it plenty of times. 🙂
It’s not a good feeling and definitely a quick and easy way to ruin that first impression.
Use small talk to your advantage.
Small talk and conversation is a great way to build relationships.
Forget about the weather, talk about things like their favorite hobbies, sports, news, or your family instead.
This way, you can find some common ground for more things to talk about.
Try to avoid controversial topics like religion or politics, though. They may not be the best things to discuss, especially now.
It may help you to prepare some questions for the person you are meeting beforehand.
Or take a few minutes to learn something about them.
Try to find out if you have anything in common.
If so, this can be a great way to open the conversation and to keep it flowing.
Most Importantly, Be Yourself!
It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth.
A great first impression is important, but don’t forget to just be yourself.
Be confident, put on a smile, and show them your best self.
No one else does it better than you.
Now I’d Love to Hear from You.
Do you find making a first impression easy or difficult?
What kinds of things help you to make that best first impression?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
I would love to hear your stories.
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