“You only get one chance to make a good first impression” and “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” are sayings that we have all heard, but do we always practice it?
The do’s and don’t of making a good first impression
- Be mindful of your appearance – You should always be mindful of how you look when you head out into the world. Be sure you are wearing appropriate clothing and are well groomed. If you wear aftershave, perfume, makeup or jewelry, make sure that you do not go overboard.
- Be conscious of your body language – Make sure you make sincere eye contact when interacting with someone. Avoid slouching, a weak handshake, folding arms across chest, fidgeting, touching or playing with your hair and glancing at the clock.
- Be sure to smile – Practice your smile, you do not want it to appear to be a weak, cheesy grin. Forty-eight percent of all Americans feel that a smile is the most memorable feature after first meeting someone.
- Have a strong introduction – Along with a good firm handshake, be sure to have an equally strong introduction. Do not just say “Hi, it is nice to meet you”. Instead say “Hi Kimberly, I am Chris, it is very nice to meet you!”
- Be interested and be interesting – If you are genuinely interested in the person you are meeting, they will more than likely pick up on that and will become very interested in getting to know you.
- Be sure to speak clearly – do not mumble, use slang or poor grammar. Speak clearly and loud enough for the person you are interreacting with can hear you while being mindful of both your volume (you do not want to speak too loudly) and tone (always project a friendly and warm tone in your voice.)
- Be sure to mind your manners – Be polite and respectful. Always say thank you, you are welcome and please when appropriate in the conversation.
- Actively listen – Do not just listen for an opportunity to talk, listen so when you do speak you are interacting with the other person, not just exchanging information.
- Be open minded – If the conversation goes deeper than just “nice to meet you” and polite small talk, do not become defensive if the person you are interacting with says something that differs from your view. Be opened minded and listen. You may still not agree with the person, but a little respect of the other persons opinion can build a great relationship.
- Be sure to show your personality – Do not be a robot and sound like everyone else who makes small talk with someone you just met. Show some of your personality.
These tips are not just for when you meet someone for the first time in person, but they can also be applied to meeting people for the first time online. Regardless if that is via email, a webchat, an online meeting, a conference call, or via a conversation on social media. Regardless of where you meet someone, remember you only get one chance to make a good first impression