Most people, if not every one, will judge you within a few minutes of meeting you and their opinion about you at that point, whether good or bad, will be somewhat difficult to change. Inwardly, you might mean well, but your appearance and attitude might mean otherwise, which would definitely affect people’s outlook about you.
It doesn’t have to do with job interviews or official meetings alone, there are other avenues we could meet people for the first time. First impressions happen so fast and it takes a lot of time or probably never, to change it. Starting off on the right foot is important in establishing relationships of any kind. So, how do you make a great first impression?
THINK ABOUT THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO MEET.
Before setting out or while on your way, think about the kind of people you want to meet and the kind of discussions that will emerge. Find out about them, know what they like and what they’ll want to hear. Gather your points appropriately, don’t make it seem like you’ve had tons of rehearsals and you’re just there to pour the whole thing out. Have a solid idea of the people and environment, so as not to be caught unawares on some basic facts.
This may sound cliché, but it is very important. This very popular quote- “the way you are dressed is the way you’ll be addressed”- comes to play here. Combining different kinds of colors will sure make you look like a clown and that would be the first impression. “She looks funny and lacks dress sense” will be the outcome of the whole matter, no matter the grammar you’ve poured out. Speaking about me, I’m good at assessing people, it isn’t a deliberate act, I just do it, and get disinterested when I find out something that doesn’t go down well with me. A dusty shoe can spoil the whole show, even if your dress is well ironed. The best advice- dress in a way you will feel confident in. A nice smell is a plus!
BE TIME CONSCIOUS
How can you be late for the first meeting? Bad bad. It doesn’t speak well at all, no one is interested in the excuse you have to give, you just don’t just take time lightly. We still deal with “African time” in this part of the world, it just has to change. The traffic? You know how terrible it could be, calculate the hours and leave the hours at the appropriate time. Work towards getting there before the scheduled time, that leaves a good impression.
We all have days we just don’t get in the mood and we just want to be alone, think and probably sleep off. If this happens, the best thing to do is stay home rather than let others pick up on this from your facial expressions and comments.
BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
This is another vital part of first impressions. Your posture and how you carry yourself matter, you might seem interested but your body says otherwise. So, be conscious of your body language, the way you shake hands, the position of your shoulders and where you point your feet are body languages that could give a first impression. You could do a little rehearsal, make a video of yourself and see for yourself.
A SMILE DOESN’T HURT
Of course it doesn’t, it actually makes things better. Smile once in a while, so you won’t seem too serious. Don’t do this in a seemingly desperate manner, so you won’t come across as a fake being. Smile often.
BE OPEN AND CONFIDENT
Speak as if you know very well what you’re talking about. I could speak about something I know a little of, and you will think I’m an expert in it. Also, I might be an expert in something, but when I talk about it, you wonder if I’m sure of myself- it all boils down to confidence. Be open too, speak your mind. Don’t speak because it MIGHT be want he or she wants to hear, open-minded people are more appreciated.
DON’T TALK TOO MUCH
Please, don’t. You might think it will impress, but it won’t. Know when to give the other party a chance to talk too. Talking way too much and out of proportion will set you on the wrong foot and it’s a really bad impression- “He/she talks too much”- No, we don’t want that.
What other tips do you know? Thanks for reading.
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