How to Create a Great First Impression
They say that the first impression lasts. The trouble is, most people form their impression of you within the first 30 seconds of meeting. So here are some tips to help you make a great first impression, whether it’s in a work situation, at a job interview, or on a date!
Be yourself: This first rule is perhaps the most important. There’s no point pretending you’re anyone other than who you are. If you try to pretend, not only will you create extra stress for yourself, but you’ll also set up unrealistic expectations for the meetings that follow. So just relax and be yourself.
Appearances count: It’s said you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, yet we all know that’s exactly what most people do. So if you want people to “read more of you,” make sure you look good, that your clothes are ironed and free of stains, that you’ve trimmed your nails, and that you smell fresh.
Be on time: Not only is it rude in many situations to be late, it also conveys a lack of respect for the time of the person you are meeting. Do you want their first impression of you to be that of someone who is always running late?
The right handshake: A firm — but not too firm — hand shake is vital, particularly in a business context. If nerves make your hands cold and clammy, warm them under hot water.
Body language: It’s said nonverbal communication makes up 93 percent of your “first impression score”. That’s why you need to make sure you don’t slouch — stand with shoulders back and head up high.
Eye contact: The best way to make a stronger personal connection with the person you are meeting is to maintain eye contact. So don’t spend long periods looking away, particularly when the other person is speaking. After all, you want to appear interested in what they are saying.
Smile: You’ll look and feel more confident if you greet people with a smile. They’ll then pick up on that signal, too and feel more relaxed. Just don’t smile too much because you might come across as insincere.