5 Ways to Make a Good First Impression

Whether it’s a social meeting or a business meeting, the first impression is what counts. Making a good first impression is important because you only have one chance to succeed. The first few seconds that someone takes a quick glance at you, are the ones that you will be remembered by. That snapshot can make all the difference. Whether you like it or not you will be ‘judged’ by your appearance and your actions, including your body language (the non-verbal communication).

A Good First Impression

Since you observe and evaluate people, the same applies for other people evaluating you; therefore it is always helpful when meeting someone, whether it is for business or personal reasons to start on the right foot.  The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” simply doesn’t apply for humans. People will avoid opening that first page and read what you have to offer and find out who you really are if they are not impressed at first sight.

We’ve all met people that we instantly like and want to find out more about them, and we have all met people that just give us a no-no signal to stay away from them. Usually the ways to create a good first impression can include the following:

·   Dress To Impress – there’s no need to go out and buy yourself the latest Armani suit or Roberto Cavalli dress to impress (especially if you’re a guy!) No seriously, it’s not the price tag that is important, its how your clothing fits your body and character. Dress appropriately for the occasion, not overdoing it but also not looking sloppy (i.e. shirt half hanging out of trousers). What you wear reflects your personality and the way you do things including your work.

·   Smile – There’s nothing like a smile to create that good first impression.  A smile can make you happy and feel comfortable, and it can also be contagious (well most of the times). Greet the other person with a smile and let them know that you are ready to listen to them and that you have the answers to their problems. Smiling can be seen as a sign of confidence, but keep it real.

·   Use Names – By this I mean their own name! If it’s a business meeting make sure to use their surname out of respect and politeness, unless you are told otherwise. When you use the surname and then you are told “please call me . . . “(first name) they have just broken the ice for you and given you a heads up for “now you can approach me” signal. For a social meeting, using the first name is just important. Using the other persons name rings bells to their ears; it’s what they like to hear.     

·   Be a Good Listener – This is the most easiest thing to do, but some of us just can’t keep quite. I have seen this mistake no end of times, where all you have to do is ‘zip it’ and let the other person speak. Actually I am guilty of this so many times, but guess what; people don’t care about you, at least not at this stage. They want to be heard, so let them speak and just be a good listener, giving short comments like “I understand” or “I agree”.  

·   Let them be The Center of Attraction – Probably the most important factor when creating a good first impression is to let the other person now that they are the important one. You are out to impress them, because they are important.  Never talk about yourself unless you are asked too.  

A short video with communication expert Alexa Fischer showing you how to make a great first impression:

Whether you are trying to have a relationship, add new friends, a new business partner, or a satisfied customer, making a good first impression is what counts. Give a bad impression and it’s very hard to undo. You can always relate to the people who have given you a great first impression and remember how they won you over.

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