How to Build a Good First Impression: 11 Tips-off to Try


Did you know that it merely takes a tenth of a second to make a first impression?

In other words, when you fulfill someone for the first time, you need to be on your game from the very beginning. This includes being aware of everything from the words you choose to the body language you convey.

Whether you’re gratifying new connects, team members, potential employers, or clients, I’ve put together a listing of tips designed to help you put your best foot forward and make a murderer first impression.

11 Tips for Attaining a Good First Impression

1) Be mindful of your body language and posture.

Effective body language goes beyond simply standing up straight and having a firm handshake — although those things are definitely important, too. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, keep your posture open — donat tightly cross your arms or legs, don’t ball your hands into fists, and don’t hunch over in your seat. Lean in when you talk to show you’re actively listening and engaged in the conversation. And donat be afraid to take up some space at the table, either. If you normally use hand gestures or move around to communicate, don’t hold back. These nonverbal cues can make a powerful subconscious impact, so be aware of your body language and posture during sessions in general, but particularly initial pitchings or interviews.

What behaviors should you aim to avoid? It’s smart to refrain from tapping, touching your face too often, placing objects in front of yourself, blinking too, and sitting or standing too close to others( respect the bubble, people ). Some body language habits can indicate dishonesty, so be mindful to avoid those tics — avoiding eye contact, touching your mouth, and others — too.

2) Modulate your pitching and tone of voice.

A high-pitched tone of voice can induce you seem childish or nervous — especially if you tend to auptalka or use a rising intonation at the end of your sentences. In fact, it has been shown that people perceive those who have a rising intonation as less knowledgeable , no matter what they are actually saying.

Not sure if you’re guilty of this? Try practising your presentations or recording yourself reading aloud. Youad be surprised at how different you sound to others versus in your own head.

On the other hand, faster speakers are considered to be more confident, according to a study performed at Brigham Young University. However, even if you’re talking fast, be sure to avoid use filler words such as aum, ” aah, ” alike, ” and other similar phrases whenever possible, as it demonstrates hesitation. Try practising not relying on those filler words in front of a camera to develop yourself.

3) Choose your words wisely.

Words matter even more than you think. Positive and persuasive words and phrases will often open door and induce people feel comfy in your presence, who are capable of ultimately induce them more willing to work with you.

For instance, letas take a look at many marketers’ favorite show: Mad Men . Some of Don Draperas best pitchings( e.g ., Carousel& Lucky Strike) were full of positive speech. That said, positive speech doesnat need to be cheesy or new-agey as Draper exemplifies. Instead, positive speech can be used to uplift your audience by simply being clear and simple.

This point is especially valuable if you’re making a first impression in a job interview. You want potential employers to find you positive, flexible, and capable, so use speech that reflects optimism and agency instead of negativity.

4) Dress the part.

Regardless of how little you personally care about fashion or style, what you wear matters. While you want to look clean and neat, it’s also important to match or slightly surpass the relative level of formality of the person or business you are meeting with — whether that is business formal, highly casual, or something in between.

“You are your brand, especially if you are a business owned, so building sure that your seem communicates your best self is important, ” explains Laurel Mintz, CEO of Elevate My Brand .

If you want to show off your personality, try including one accessory that could be considered a memorable item or even a conversation piece. This could be anything from a unique piece of jewelry to a fancy tie-in to a pair of fun socks.

5) Make eye contact.

Focus on the person or people you are speaking with. It’s hard to get to know someone when you’re appearing down at a screen, so make an effort to make some eye contact with everyone in the room.

However, keep in mind that eye contact can also backfire, according to a study by the University of British Columbia. If people arenat already persuaded or inclined to be on your side, they may focus more on your mouth or any presentation materials youare showcasing instead of your eyes, making attempts at eye contact a challenge.

6) Know your audience.

Do your research. If your meeting is planned in advance, you should know plenty about the person or business that you’re meeting with before you arrive. This might mean that you Google the people youall be meeting with, the company founders/ co-founders, its own history, their competition, their main products, and any other relevant info before you walk into the room.

Looking for a helpful tool to help you gather some background information? Check out Charlie App. This app scans hundreds of sources to uncover information about the person you’re meeting with and sends you a one-pager with all the details. Pretty cool, right? LinkedIn is also a good place to check out who you’re meeting with and understand better them.

7) Come prepared.

There’s nothing worse than an unproductive meeting. To make a great first impression, be sure that you’re respectful of everyoneas hour. If you’re meeting with someone working remotely, plan accordingly. That said, if youare being productive and every human being has the bandwidth, it might be okay if the meeting runs long — just make sure you check in with the group before building the call.

Meeting hour management is a key aspect of building an engaged group of clients or colleagues. Plus, it depicts respect for their schedules.

8) Be authentic.

When you’re meeting someone for the first time, don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you don’t know the answer to something they ask, don’t fake it. The they are able to lean into your flaws shows that you are self-aware.

However, be sure not to over underscore your shortcomings. It might seem shockingly simple, but avoiding the areport card problema or highlighting flaws and how you might fix them could cause you to only showcase the negatives, or at the least induce them the biggest part of your overall impression. While you donat want to hide any flaws( people will likely figure it out anyways ), you do want to be honest and move on to the good stuff — especially at the beginning of a business relationship.

9) Put your telephone away.

That runs for tablets, laptops, and other electronics, too.

If you need to use technology to deliver a presentation, that’s one thing. But unless you’re projecting your computer or tablet screen to present to the entire room, turn off sounds and vibrations on your mobile devices, and put your screens away. Give your complete and undivided attention to the people you’re meeting for the first time to convey your commitment, focus, and let’s face it, your good manners.

10) Build a connection.

Pay close attention to who you’re meeting with for the first time and try to forge a connection based on what they share with you. Whether it’s their alma mater or their hometown, forging a connection outside of the professional dialogue can be a great way to strike up a rapport.

That being said, don’t be too creepy. Avoid building remarks about their appearance that could be perceived as inappropriate and stick to connects you might have in common. Those are more genuine than compliments anyway.

11) Don’t forget to follow up.

After an initial meeting, don’t forget to follow up by sending any necessary information — notes, presentation docs, next steps, and so on — or sending a thank you note.

These small gestures will help prove that you’re on the ball, and that you’re building them a priority, rather than just another task to check off your to-do list.

Sending out updated information after a meeting can also ensure that they are able to get a second chance at a first impression. How so? It helps to show another side of you or your business — perhaps a most responsible side. In fact, a Stanford study revealed that adding more external factors can actually mitigate the effect of a negative first impression.

Don’t let a negative first impression get in the way of your ability to to know someone. Follow these nine tips to ensure that the first time you meet with someone won’t be the last.

What are your best tips for making a great first impression? Discuss the matter below . Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness .

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