There’s no do-overs when it comes to making a good first impression;
You get one shot and one shot only, and if you fail to make a good first impression then you can pretty much guarantee you won’t be getting much help from that person.
Which is why it’s so important to make a great first impression when you get the chance, and not squander the opportunity. It’s not the easiest of things to do. After all, everybody is different and everybody looks for different qualities in people.
Plus, many people are nervous when meeting anybody new for the first time, especially when this person can make your life a lot easier if they like you.
How to Make A Good First Impression
We’ve compiled a strong and powerful number of tips within this article that’ll help you have more of a positive effect on the people you meet. Here are 17 tips to help you make a good first impression:
1. Look the Part
The reality is that the first thing people notice is your appearance. Unless of course you’ve previously met them over the phone or by email. Then they’ll already have a feel for your personality. But, in most cases it will be your appearance that hits them first.
You’ve all heard the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well in the world of first impressions, this expression is pretty much ignored the majority of the time.
When you’re looking to make a good first impression on someone, turning up looking like a homeless person is instantly going to lower their opinion of you.
It’s a harsh reality and by no means how it should be, but it’s just the natural reaction that many people may have.
You may be an awesome person, filled with inspiration and knowledge, but without looking the part people may not get to see this amazing person within you. Therefore, make sure you’re smartly dressed, looking like you mean business.
We’re talking tailored suits, smart polished shoes, fresh haircut and shave, cuff-links and all the rest.
2. Powerful Body Language
Okay, so the first thing that people notice is how you look, but the second is definitely your body language. How you walk into the room, or how you sit when you talk will have a big effect on what a person thinks about you.
For example, if you’re playing with your hair or your hands whilst in your seat, then it’ll come off as you not being able to pay attention.
Walk into a room slowly with your shoulders back, head held high and hands by your side. People are going to notice you a lot more for all the good reasons, rather than walking in quickly looking at the floor with your hands in your pockets. Go figure!
Walk and sit proudly; not like a jerk, just proudly and confidently.
3. Eye Contact
Now everyone knows that eye contact is important in leaving a good first impression on someone, but some people still either struggle to do it or just don’t want to do it.
If you walk into a room and someone starts to strike up a conversation with you, but you’re looking at the floor or around the room, it’s going to discourage them.
If you’re not looking at them then they’ll think you’re either not listening, not interested or just not the sort of person they want to be sharing their thoughts with.
I don’t blame them. Nobody wants to stand their spilling out knowledge and enthusiasm when the other person isn’t even paying attention.
4. Show Enthusiasm
Everybody loves someone who is enthusiastic; it makes you stand out compared to anyone who is just mildly talkative. Plus is conveys your level of interest in a particular subject to someone, and if you’re enthusiastic they’re far more likely to enjoy your company.
If you just talk in a boring tone and don’t seem to be that bothered about what you’re saying, then it’s harder for people to carry on a conversation with you because they know you have no joy whatsoever in talking about it.
Even if the conversation moves onto a different topic that you’re not interested in, still try to seem enthusiastic, no matter how hard it may be to do so.
5. Don’t Make it a One Way Conversation
If you’re constantly talking to someone knew and not letting them do any of the talking, then they’re likely to think you’re absolutely full of yourself, or that you’re just not interested in what they could have to say… or both.
Either way, you won’t leave a good first impression on them.
When one conversation between two people involves the dialog rebounding from one to the other, then it’s going to be more engaging and more beneficial to both people. Seems kind of obvious right?
If a person that you’ve just met asks you a question about your business or your interests, and you either reply with a three word sentence or 5 minutes of waffling, your chances of progressing the conversation and being able to extract as much information from it won’t be very high.
However, if you walk up to someone, ask them a question and they reply with an enthusiastic answer and then a question, not only will you have to reply but you’ll want to. That’s how you’re able to get to know someone well.
6. Have Some Respect
Don’t brag too much about yourself or do anything to hurt the feelings of the person you’re talking to. In the business world, a lot of people who you meet will be just like you trying to make something of themselves and better themselves.
They’re probably very hardworking and if they haven’t yet been appraised that much for what they’re doing, then they’re in great need of appraisal.
It doesn’t hurt does it?
I’m sure that you love being appraised for what you’re doing, and if they’re the ones giving it to you then give appraisal back. Always have respect for the people that you’re talking to, and recognize their goals and achievements. It’ll go a long way.
7. Know Your Goal
When you know your overall goals, not just in business but also in the present moment of meeting someone new, then you’ll be more confident in knowing how to bring up the subject you want to talk about, and be able to get what you want out of the experience.
You will have more clarity in how you go about things and that’s always important if you want to make a good first impression and not screw things up completely. Before you head to a meeting, interview or appointment with someone new, first ask yourself what you want to come from it.
Do you want to have a mutual partnership in business with this person, do you want to get to know them more so they might be able to help you out later on? Or do you want them to hopefully hire you, or have a more personal relationship?
Whatever you decide, once you know what you want from the situation you’ll have more of an idea of how to proceed.
8. Be Confident & Believe in Yourself
Confidence is the key to many things in life. Being confident will unlock so many more doors for you than being shy and nervous with every action you take, because you will be far less likely to do things you’re afraid of.
And even if you do still do them, you won’t be performing them anywhere near to the best of your abilities.
Interacting with other people is one major thing that confidence affects. And if you don’t have it, then you’ll find yourself refraining from asking certain question, or throwing your points across in a powerful and persuading manner.
Instead they’ll just come out like you’re not really sure or your asking a question. Come on, really? Be proud to tell people what you want in life.
9. Show That You Mean Business
This doesn’t mean that you brag, and make sure everyone knows exactly who you are and how “amazing” you are.
It means that you arrive to appointments, meetings and greetings early and with confidence.
When someone asks you about your goals, you answer with confidence so they 100% believe you when you say you’re going to achieve them, and not in a way that makes the other person think you just asked them a question.
Are you questioning your goals whilst explaining them? Or are you telling the person that this is why you’re here, this is what you’re out to achieve and you won’t rest until you do?
10. Eliminate Fear From the Equation
Meeting new people can often be a scary thing, especially if they could potentially have a lot of influence on a part of your life such as your career. But at the end of the day fear isn’t real. It’s just a product of your imagination.
If you can eliminate fear from the equation of meeting people, then you’ll be able to just let things flow and not constantly over-think, which is always better for natural human interaction.
11. Focus on Others
When you place the focus on other people, you instantly become more likeable. People love to talk about themselves; and if you can put the focus on them, you’re going to make them believe you’re very interested in what they have to say.
Naturally, this helps them to trust you and like you more.
If you’re all about yourself, people are going to get bored. However, if you first place the focus on the person you’re socializing with, they will eventually place the focus back onto yourself after they gain more curiosity.
12. Improve Your Communication Skills
I’ve actually just written a lengthy article on improving your communication skills, which I will link to once it goes live on the site.
Improving your ability to communicate ensures that you pick the right topics to talk about, and that you cut the fluff out of the conversation. This ensures that the words coming out of your mouth are necessary, effective, and also open up the conversation to many more topics.
This is one of the most important tips for making a good first impression when meeting and conversing with someone new.
13. Prepare A Great Introduction for Yourself
Within the first minute of meeting someone, you will have the opportunity to explain who you are. If you’re deadly serious about making a good impression, you’ll need to have a great introduction.
The likelihood is that whenever you meet somebody new, you will probably say the same thing due to habit. But your introduction will have been programmed a while ago, before you were even interested in trying to improve your first impression.
Which is why you need to come up with a new introduction. One that’s short, snappy, interesting, and unique. If you can do this, and start using it on every new person you meet, you’ll have re-programmed it within your mind.
14. Learn to Compliment People Well
People love compliments. Let’s not pretend that they don’t.
If you can learn to give people compliments without coming across as sarcastic, corny or desperate, you’re on your way to making a great first impression.
Compliment them on what they do, their goals, their attire, their appearance. The right compliment to use will depend on the situation and the intended relationship between yourself and the person you’re meeting.
15. Read More Often
Reading improves your vocabulary, your knowledge, and if nothing else, the number of topics you have to talk about.
If you want to come across as an interesting individual, reading more books would probably be a great way to improve your vocabulary and overall knowledge in specialised subjects.
No need to try and ‘appear’ smarter. You will be smarter.
16. Give People Your Full Attention
This means no looking at your phone, around the room, or fiddling with your possessions. If you’re doing any of these things, the person you’re talking to will think you’re trying to escape, or completely uninterested in what they’re saying.
Make sure to give people your full and undivided attention.
17. Don’t Wait for Them to Approach You
Approaching strangers takes confidence. Confidence is appreciated. It shows that you mean business, and you’re not ‘kind of interested’ in speaking to another person.