Elevate Your First Impression Game

"You never get a second chance to make a good first impression." -Will Rogers

First impressions can play a significant role in our day-to-day interactions in a variety of ways. From meeting a potential client to presenting to a group of people, the initial thoughts of others are instant and impactful. Therefore, it is imperative to put your best foot forward from the very first moment and present yourself in a manner that makes others want to get to know you more. Let’s explore some ways you can elevate your first impression game. 

Did you know that most people make a first impression of a person within seven seconds? This means you don’t have much time to make it count! “Studies have found that, on average, our first impressions of people are 76% accurate.”  

Here are some tips to help make a positive first impression: 

Be mindful of body language 

When networking, be welcoming and approachable. Whether people are drawn to you is largely based on your non-verbal communication. When you are mindful and intentional with your body language, you exhibit confidence, approachability, and a willingness to get to know people.  

Positive cues displayed by your body language can help develop trust and people are more likely to seek out opportunities for conversation and interactions with you. Additionally, non-verbal signs such as smiling, nodding, leaning forward, and maintaining eye contact can help build strong connections, trust, and respect. 

Be an active listener 

Prioritize being an engaged and active listener by smiling, nodding your head, maintaining comfortable eye contact, and paying close attention to your posture. Ask questions and respond with thoughtful words to acknowledge and validate what they are saying. Being an active listener and an engaged member of the conversation shows a genuine interest in the other person.  

By focusing on the needs, wants and goals of others, people are more likely to want to continue engaging with you after your initial meeting as they feel valued and respected. 

Your handshake matters 

One of the first things we typically do when meeting someone, especially in a professional setting, is shake hands. While slightly less common since Covid-19, you should still be prepared when a hand reaches out for yours. We have all experienced the “dead fish” or “death grip” handshake. Shake hands with a firm and confident grip, make eye contact, smile, integrate a greeting, and use their name. 

Be authentic 

To develop worthwhile and long-lasting relationships, you must stay true to who you are. People can naturally sense when someone isn’t being authentic. Focus on your strengths, and don’t try to be someone or something you aren’t.   

“By being true to ourselves, we attract people who accept and appreciate us for who we are, rather than people who only like us for the image we project.”

Medium 

We hope you consider using these tips to help guide you the next time you meet someone new. Remember that making a first impression doesn’t mean you need to be perfect; be authentic and true to who you are, and meaningful connections are sure to follow. 

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