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First impressions are very important in forming a strong relationship with the different people we meet and interact with in our lives. Though it happens for a very short time, the first impression can last for a very long time, for better or worse. People make judgments about the people they meet based on their appearance and presentation and once the impression is created, it hardly changes. Simply put, a great or good impression will give you a strong kick off in any situation in life; from interviews to the workplace. It is never a bad think to stand out from the crowd!
Tips on How To Make A Great First Impression
Prepare talking points
Before you go for a meeting with a new person or company, it is advisable to do some background research. Brace yourself with particulars about that individual, the things he loves and what he might be expecting from you. These preparations will help you to convince the other person that are informed about the problem he is trying to solve and that your skills come in handy. Come up with a number of issues that you feel raising them up during your discussion will exhibit your expertise, strategic planning skills, and a deep understanding of the subject.
Dress for the occasion
To create the right first impression, you should appear for the meeting or interview in the right attire and properly groomed. For a lasting good impression, your appearance should be based on an analysis of expectations. Research the company, its culture and the attire worn by its employees. This will guide you unto choosing the most appropriate dress for the meeting. Dressing to match a corporate culture will establish a common ground for the rest of the meeting. Also, the attire you choose will define the level of professionalism, seriousness and potential impact you will have on the company. Ensure that your grooming, your hair style, and general personal appearance depicts a powerful, influential and a productive person. Above all, dress to show your respect of those you are meeting.
Be aware of your body language
Creating a positive impression during the first meeting entails demonstrating confidence through your body language. Though many people might be nervous when meeting a new person such as an employer, you should not show any signs of anxiety. Express comfort and confidence in your body language by walking with the chest held high, taking long strides and sitting up straight during the meeting. If you find assuming these poses challenging, you can adopt simple postures that will boost your confidence. When attending high-stakes meetings, you should prepare by videotaping yourself in advance to have an idea of how you will appear to the other party. Observing yourself ahead of time is the best way of knowing your shortcomings and finding better ways to present yourself.
Engage and be engaging
To make a good first impression, it is advisable to engage the other party in the conversation. Try to draw the other person into the conversation and listen attentively to his views. Given that people love to speak about themselves, you should ask thoughtful and open-ended questions that will make them feel at ease to share their reasoning with you. Engaging the other party in the conversation makes them feel good about themselves and their ideas appreciated. This environment helps them to develop a positive impression of you.
Maintain a direct and warm eye contact
A key point to creating a great first impression is making the other party see you as a trustworthy person. This will come firstly from your eye contact. Eye contact is probably the most valuable component of a good communication. Eyes tell a lot about one’s feelings, attitude and thoughts. Eye contact can easily reveal your interests, level of self-confidence, and involvement in a conversation. From one’s eye contact, you can gauge the likelihood of the information being true or false, how likable or not likable the other person is and a lot more. Maintain a direct and warm eye contact that appears natural but not too intense to make the other person uncomfortable.
After the first meeting, you should follow-up with the other person to ensure that the good impression you created is cemented. Send him a note highlighting what you learned and how it is of great help to you. Also, try to connect with the person on social media platforms and show interest in his work or blogs. It creates an impression of helpfulness that helps to create a positive second impression.