It is said, you do not get a second chance at making a first impression. According to research, it takes between 33ms and 100ms to form a first impression based on a glance at somebody. With that said, creating a negative first impression is easy. The worst part is that the formed impression may be far from true.
Creating a positive first impression has different benefits for varied groups. For businesses or organizations, a good impression means they can secure a customer and even get referrals. Since a positive impression is lasting, the customer may even be loyal to the brand or merchant.
For individuals, a positive first impression can guarantee you a job or a second interview. A good first impression will improve how the interviewers interact and respond to you. In other instances, a good impression gives you a head start when making friends or approaching potential people to date.
Therefore, you need to do all it takes to create a positive impression on everyone you meet. There are several tips and tricks to use to flawlessly wow everyone you interact with. These tips and tricks include:
1. Mind Your Dressing and Grooming
It is said, do not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, we cannot help ourselves. Presentation is everything. You have to always dress for the occasion and look the part. Know what outfits to wear to each specific event you attend.
There are numerous top women’s clothing boutiques, both offline and online. The boutiques will provide hundreds of clothing options for selection for each occasion. If you are a man, you can visit clothing boutiques too or get a personal tailor.
When dressing for an event, make sure you get the small details right. Make sure you wear clean, fitting, and well-ironed clothes. Also, make sure you have presentable hair and nails. Lastly, make sure you have a pleasant fragrance.
Perfumes can be tricky. Make sure you do not go overboard trying to mask your natural scent. The best approach is to use small amounts of your preferred fragrance. Controlled amounts will ensure you do not repel or give people migraines.
2. Ensure You are Polite
Interacting with people at times can be difficult. However, there is no excuse for being rude, especially when you have just met. Strive to be polite to strangers regardless of the situation.
Being polite will ensure you do not close yourself to opportunities. Even when approached by rude people, maintain your calm and respond politely. In such a situation you will keep things from escalating and remain professional.
3. Mind Your Body Language
Body language speaks the loudest in any conversation. Nonverbal communication makes up to 55% of all face-to-face interactions. The majority of the time, people are looking at what you are not saying and how you react to new information you receive.
With that said, make sure you form habits that convey positive body language. The positive practices include:
- Giving a firm handshake
- Maintaining eye contact
- Leaning forward when listening
- Maintaining an upright and open posture
Avoid getting distracted, tapping objects, folding your arms, or crossing your legs. These are common signs that you have closed yourself off or mentally checked out. You should also master your facial expressions. You may not verbally react to comments, but your facial expressions will often give feedback.
Avoid frowning and expressing negativity while listening. A smile will go a long way in maintaining the energy of the conversation. Genuine smiles encourage the speaker but do not fake smiles. Fake smiles are easy to spot and read through.
4. Mind Your Language and Speech
Knowing your audience is paramount when making a conversation. People have different ideologies and beliefs on topics. To avoid upsetting people, you should be mindful of how you present your ideas.
Avoid sensitive topics that force people into presenting their biases. Doing this will ensure the conversation does get out of hand and escalate into an argument. Also, use gender-neutral terms to avoid showing bias toward a specific gender.
You should also note that your pitch, intonation, and how you articulate your words matter. People who speak at a high pitch with rising intonations are often perceived as less knowledgeable compared to those speaking at a low pitch.
Also, fast speakers are perceived as more confident compared to slow speakers. You should do regular practice, record it and listen to yourself. Doing this will help you build your confidence and sound more intelligent. Remember to avoid using filler words and stuttering.
5. Maintain Your Authenticity
As much as you would like to create a positive first impression, do not lose yourself. People often adopt different personalities to be more agreeable with audiences. However, that is always not the best approach because you will not be presenting your true nature.
Do not fall victim to agreeing to everything to be liked. It will cost you in the future. You should express that you have a contrary opinion respectfully. Also, do not pretend to know everything. Ask for an explanation when you are in doubt or something is not clear.
If you speak with hand gestures, use them. Rather than confining yourself to minimize your hand gestures and facial expressions, free your mind to be fully invested in the conversation.
6. Manage Your Time
Lastly, be conscious about your time management. Always aim to be on time for meetings. Do not keep people waiting. Try and arrive at least 10 minutes before the designated time of the meeting. The act will show you are time conscious and create a positive impression.
Also, arriving early will give you time to settle down and prepare for the interaction. Time management should be a two-way street. You should politely express that you expect the same from the other party.
With practice, you will be able to make great first impressions and win over people. All you need to remember is to keep things simple and make people comfortable talking to you. Practice the different tips above during small talk and watch as you become a better communicator.
In case you do not make a great first impression, try again. If you were wrong, offer an apology and request to try again. If you get a second opportunity and improve your first one, maintain your consistency.