“You only have one chance to make a first impression.” This might seem like a cliché, but it’s a very true statement applicable in many life scenarios. It could be you want a job and have to attend an interview. Maybe you want to venture into a business partnership and have to present yourself to the other stakeholders physically. Or, it could even be a date. How can you ensure you start well ideally in such scenarios? How should you appear? What are the dos and don’ts? Here are the answers to your questions.
Focus on Your Appearance
How you appear is something people will see immediately you meet them. That’s why you can’t afford to appear messy or confused. You might not be a fashion guru, but listen, you have to be very conscious about your dressing. Select comfortable clothes that match the occasion and, if possible, seek an opinion of your appearance from someone before you leave the house.
You can even show off a little bit of your personality by wearing personalized accessories like watches, engraved necklaces, earrings, bangles, and bracelets.
Make Eye Contact and Smile
People will always notice if you’re maintaining eye contact with them or avoiding it. Eye contact shows interest, understanding, and confidence.
Smile. Show you’re glad and happy to be there. A genuine smile conveys friendliness and sincerity.
Observe Your Environment and Adapt to It
As much as you might have some well-laid-out ideas on how to present yourself when meeting people for the first time, it’s also noble to observe what’s happening around you and adapt.
Be keen on whether the other person is maintaining eye contact or smiling. By reflecting on these, it is easy to make them feel comfortable. For example, if you are in an interview and the interviewer speaks softly, don’t be too loud. If the other person is shy and avoids eye contact, you can’t keep on looking at them directly in the eye.
Talk Confidently and Listen Attentively
Create a balance between talking and listening. You shouldn’t talk all the time and not give a chance to the other party. Still, you can’t be quiet throughout the entire session, as you may appear uninterested or half-baked. That’s why you have to create a balance between the two.
How you speak says more than what you say. You need to be careful about your tone. Communicate clearly so that others will hear what you say without struggling. Avoid filler words, too, as they show a lack of confidence. Listen to others attentively, and you can even nod to show you understand or agree with what they say.
Mind About Your Body Language
Meeting people for the first time can be frightening. No matter how anxious you are, don’t show it. Sometimes, it’s easier said than done, but there are some things you can do to show you’re confident. Hold your chest high as you walk. Sit in an upward position and take long, slow strides as you walk instead of short, fast ones.
If you find it comfortable emphasizing what you say using gestures, don’t shy off from doing so. Don’t assume such nonverbal cues as they might create powerful impacts on the people you’re interacting with. Some of the things you should avoid include:
- Standing too close to the other person
- Blinking often
- Touching your face
All these show a lack of confidence, which could cost you great life-changing opportunities.
Always keep in mind that people will take just a second’s fraction to conclude who you are. That’s why you need to present yourself excellently to create positive first impressions. Always aim to make people remember you for all the right reasons, and within no time, it will become a habit.