As the adage goes, ‘The first impression is the last impression’, holds a very pertinent role in our first encounter with another person which forms a mental image of that person. First impressions that individuals give to other people can influence the way they are treated and viewed. The first impression is extremely important because it creates the granite foundation for how people perceive us. It provides people with the glasses through which they see us. This is precisely the reason why people should make every effort to create a good first impression.
One does not get a second chance to create a first impression. Everyone gets just a single chance and they have to make the best out of it. If you spoil your chance, you will have to work very hard and for a very long time to reconstruct your image. In professional and/or personal life, a good first impression can open the doors to so many other good things.
Here Are 7 Ways To Make A Great First Impression
1. Be on Time
Time is a very crucial factor in making a good first impression. Whether it is for a job interview, or a meeting, or a first date no one appreciates if the other person is late. Being punctual speaks a lot about one’s discipline and dedication for the committed task and reflects a skill that is considered for taking into account a good first impression.
2. Be dressed appropriately and be aware of your body language
One’s dressing plays an important role in creating a good first impression. Nobody appreciates a person who is shabbily dressed in general and if it is a first time meeting (date or otherwise), or a job interview it calls for a disaster. Also, one has to be mindful of the type of dressing they are opting for which is suitable to the occasion. Being casually dressed for a job interview could be a potential rejection for the job position. One’s body language should be confident and comfortable. Slouching, closed posture, lack of eye contact during a job interview or a meeting could also indicate a lack of confidence and self-doubt, which can come in the way of creating a great first impression.
3. Prepare talking points
Before meeting someone new, whether it is a new client or employer, do sufficient homework and research. Know about the company, the person who you are meeting, their skills. If it is a first time meeting with a client, prepare points which could be of benefit to him/her. Let the conversation flow and grow organically, however, discuss points you have prepared highlighting its significance to them.
4. Listen and pay attention
Listen to what the other person is saying and pay attention to them. Zoning out or not paying attention could indicate disinterest or worse inability to be a good listener, which are key skills in creating first impressions. Clarify, summarize, and ask questions to show your interest in what the other person is saying and be engaged in the conversation.
A smile can have a remarkable effect on people. It also decreases your stress levels, even if it is forced at first. Smiles express confidence, happiness, and friendliness. They are the first thing people notice when you meet them. Smiling can have a very positive impact on people.
6. Be polite and courteous
Being aggressive or rude can make the other person feel intimidated and uncomfortable. Use gentle and polite phrases and being formal during the first meeting/interview can do wonders. Showing respect can go a long way in developing trust and a good first impression.
Even when the conversation has ended, write a personalized note of sincere appreciation to ensure that the first impression sticks.
Remember, the first impression could be the last impression you make, so make it impactful. However, being overly concerned about making a good first impression could come across as being too pretentious or fake. The key is to be subtle and to be Yourself.