Making a great first impression might be termed as a cliché especially in the current context when our social milieu affords us with lots of opportunities to come across same people and change their attitudes towards us. Having said that, both in personal and professional life, it does matter how you come across the first time you bump into somebody. Everything “first” sticks on.
The author of this blog post on Pick the Brain say, “first impressions often set the stage for an entire relationship or lack thereof”.
Making a marvelous first impression can be an inherent quality or you can acquire or develop this ability. You don’t need to be conscious or worked up about it. Just be relaxed and true to yourself. The more genuine you are, the better are your chances at making a great impression the first time you meet someone. Here are a few things you can do (not all the points appear in the original blog post):
Keep your greetings shorter and to the point
You don’t want to overwhelm the person you have just met with an onslaught of phrases and sentences even if you’re trying to show your concern. Sometimes a simple “hello” can be more effective than expressing 10 lines of endearments. Introduce yourself, say something nice and then allow that person to respond and speak up.
Beauty is skin deep but there is a reason we prefer a flower to a garbage bin. Positive visual signals make a big difference. We all have our unique looks and in one way or another everybody is beautiful; being presentable always helps you make a good first impression. A disheveled look on the other hand sends a message that you don’t pay much attention to what people think about you. This attitude (don’t caring what people think about you) has its positives and negatives, and you need to adopt those positives and negatives with an open mind.
Be sincere and truthful
As they say, you never have to remember the truth because you already know it. Don’t try to be something or someone you are not. Thoughts of self-deception always make a negative impact on your overall demeanor whether you personally realize it or not. When you’re not pretending to be someone else you have a very positive body language and you look very relaxed and approachable.
Pay full attention to the person
A distracted individual can never make a great first impression. When you are approaching someone for the first time, focus on that person fully. Carefully listen to what he or she is saying and try to remember as much as possible not just because you want to make an impression, but so that you can provide an appropriate response whenever it is needed. When you pay close attention to the person you’re talking to, in a general manner, even that person feels good. Don’t look here and there while talking to the person and make appropriate eye contact. On the other hand, don’t continuously look into the person’s eyes.
Get rid of all your tensions
Tension can be contagious and consequently, everybody wants to avoid people who are tense and nurturing depressing thoughts. Be a person people will like to be with and will feel happy being in the company of.
Goodbye is as important as hello
Just as hello is important, so is a goodbye. Keep it concise, to the point and polite. Let it leave a lingering memory in the person you have just met. If it was a business meeting, you can offer your business card while parting.