How to make a great first impression

Most people will judge you within the first second of meeting you. The saying ‘you only have one chance to make a first impression’ holds true in many situations, from job interview to networking events. So, how can you ensure people are seeing your best side?

1. Set an intention

Have a clear answer to the question “what do I want from this meeting/interaction/event?” Once you better understand your intention you can prepare talking points and set yourself some goals. The intention should be something within your control.

If you are applying for a job, be more specific than “I want this job.” Instead try “I want to show you three qualifications that make me the best candidate.” This is something within your power, and it will help guide you during the meeting – particularly if you start to feel nervous.

2. Be conscious of your body language and appearance

Non-verbal cues like your body language and the way you are presenting yourself will be the first thing people see. Keeping your body language confident and open will instinctively show others that you are approachable. Ensuring that your appearance and what you are wearing is suitable for the occasion is also important. Be sure that your overall appearance says what you want it to say for the people meeting you for the first time.

3. Show interest and be interesting

A common mistake people make when trying to make a good first impression is trying too hard to impress the other person. Either with their vast knowledge or life experience, people often fall into the trap of trying to wow and dazzle others. However, the aim of a first meeting is to show interest as well as being interesting. Engage with the other person, ask them questions and try and draw them out. This is also a good way to find commonality and will ultimately help you create a memorable conversation and connection.

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