First impressions are important because they last. What someone judges about you in the first few moments of meeting them is the impression that sticks with them.
In the first few moments someone may judge how smart, successful, adventurous, and much about you.
It’s important to give a great first impression.
How do you do that?
Here are 9 tips on how to give a great first impression.
Have good grooming and personal hygiene
Look good and smell good. Make sure you don’t look shabby, unkempt, or smell like you haven’t taken a shower in a week. Make sure to use deodorant.
Along with good grooming and personal hygiene, how you dress is important. Some suggest dressing one level up than required for whatever event you are going to. Others say you should always be dressed and ready to go to events or get-togethers or parties if asked.
Dressing up may not be your style. If not, if nothing else, make sure your clothes actually fit. Taking your clothes to a tailor to get them fitted to you could do a lot for a great first impression.
Use great body language
Smile. Use open body language. Look at people in the eye.
What is your impression of someone who constantly keeps their head down, avoiding people’s eyes, or of someone who’s arms are crossed with a frown on their face?
Even if you don’t talk to someone, smile at them. When you are walking down the street, you could even smile at people you meet. Smiles are contagious, and it will reflect well on you.
Give good greetings
When you greet someone, smile, look them in they eyes, and give a firm handshake. Again, act confident.
Be a good listener
Dale Carnegie, in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, tells a story of how he just listened to a botanist for a few hours and was praised highly of that botanist as being a great conversationalist.
People love talking about themselves. When you are a good listener and focus on what the person is saying versus what you want to say, don’t interrupt, give good verbal affirmations, and show sincere interest, people remember that about you.
People remember how you make them feel. One of the best ways to make them feel good is to be a great listener and get them to talk about themselves and what interests them.
Being prepared for conversation can give a great impression of confidence and ability. It looks bad when after “hello” you stand around staring with nothing to say.
Prepare questions beforehand that you can ask people. Look at your surroundings and see what questions you can come up with to ask.
Play the host
Be the person who walks up to people, introduces themselves, and initiates conversation. Be the person who welcomes people into a group and introduces everyone and who brings people up to speed.
Be that person, and it makes you look confident, like a leader, and people will appreciate your efforts of initiation and introduction.
It was mentioned before, but it is worth mentioning again. Act confident. Even if you don’t feel it. Act it, and, over time, the rest will follow.
Give sincere compliments
People remember how you make them feel, and another great way to make someone feel good is to compliment. But make sure it is genuine.
Find something about the person that you like, and compliment them on it. Even if it is a stranger, and they have a nice looking coat, tell them that.
Most people will be appreciative of the compliment and think well of you for saying it.
Don’t fall into the same trap
These 9 tips can be helpful when it comes to making a first impression. However, don’t fall into the same trap of labeling people based on a quick first impression.
I’m sure we all would rather people make a judgment about us after getting to know us, so let’s do that for other people.
Yes, we will get an “initial” impression about someone, but let’s not make assumptions and let’s challenge those impressions by getting to know the person and see what they are really like.
What other tips do you have for making a great first impression?