Tips on Making Great First Impressions
First impressions last. Whether you are meeting the in-laws, going for a job interview, or off on a first date, the choices that you make and how you come across will dictate how things develop.
Your first consideration will probably be your clothing. Is it appropriate for the occasion? This is very important, so think about what kind of clothing will reflect exactly what it is that you are trying to project about yourself. In most cases you will be looking for balance: trying too hard or not trying hard enough are extremes to avoid and at the very least you will need to be sure that your clothing is always clean and ironed as a basic rule.
Hair should always be washed and styled when meeting someone important for the first time. If you are a woman, when it comes to make-up, unless you are making your way to a ‘tarts and vicars’ fancy dress party, less is generally more – so go for ‘flattering but discreet’.
So, you are ready to leave the house (in good time!) you’ve put some thought and effort into your appearance and feel that your look is appropriate, but will this be enough to create a great first impression? Unfortunately it takes more than looks to impact in a positive way, but don’t worry, it is all within your capability.
On your way to your meeting think about your most recent great achievement to boost you confidence and remind yourself that whoever you are meeting may also feel some level of nervousness. Think about some possible lines of conversation or questions that you may have, so that you are prepared for any awkward silences.
The next thing to consider is posture and body language. Before you even open your mouth you are giving off all kinds of information about who you are to those that you meet, so make it positive. If something affected your mood on the way to this meeting, let it go, don’t bring any bad feeling into the introduction. However you feel, you can soon bring your mood back to cheerful by smiling. Stand tall but relax, and whatever happens don’t forget your manners. Take a few deep breaths before entering your meeting place.
In most circumstances to offer a warm handshake will be appropriate whether the person you meeting is male or female. Make eye contact. Holding someone’s gaze for a few seconds as you greet them with a warm smile is a fantastic way to break the ice.
If you are feeling a little nervous be conscious of speaking a little slower than may come naturally, taking time to breathe between comments. Avoid fidgeting and if possible keep directing the attention back towards whoever you are speaking to. Listen carefully to what is said in order to make connections.
Before you know it you will forget your nerves and become engaged in the conversation.
Well done, you are making a great first impression!