First impressions are everything. Whether in a business or personal setting, when you meet someone for the first time you want to ensure that you leave a positive and lasting impression. It only takes a tenth of a second to make a first impression, so it is essential that you are aware of your body language as well as the words you choose before meeting someone new.
Leaving a poor first impression can be detrimental not only to your personal connections, it can leave a bad impression of the business you represent as well. Use some of the tips we have complied below to help put your best foot forward!
1. Body Language & Posture
Body language is a huge factor in effective communication and is highly influential in first impressions. It is common knowledge that standing up straight and having a firm confident handshake are important, but your body language goes beyond that. You need to be aware of your posture (try to avoid closing yourself off to the other individual), refrain from tapping or fidgeting, and always respect the other individual’s personal space.
2. Tone & Pitch Of Your Voice
Much like body language, the tone and pitch of your voice influence how your words are perceived. If you are nervous or tend to be a fast speaker, be aware that it can change the effectiveness of your impression. Remind your self to speak slowly and articulate your words as best as possible. Avoid filler words such as “like,” “um,” or “ah” as they show hesitation.
3. Words Matter More Than You Think
Understand that the words that you choose to use should be positive and persuasive. Make the other individual feel comfortable around you, this can lead them to feeling more willing to work with you. Be clear and straightforward and let the conversation flow naturally.
4. Appearance Is Essential
Whether you care about fashion and style or not, your appearance matters. You want to make sure that you look neat and clean and that your clothing is appropriate for the situation whether it is casual, business formal, etc.
5. Be Prepared & Know Your Audience
Although sometimes first impressions can happen without time to prepare, if your meeting is planned in advance and you have time to do so, do it. Try to find information about the company they work for and what that company stands or their personal interests.
6. Most Importantly, Follow Up
Making a killer first impression is important, but more importantly make sure to keep in touch with the connections made. Following up indicates that you’re making that individual a priority, and although it is a small gesture it will ensure a lasting impression.
Meeting a new connection or a potential client for the first time is an incredible opportunity to show off your articulated communication skills and impress upon them the company you represent. Use this opportunity to your advantage, follow the steps we have listed above and make the perfect first impression! For more great tips and information, connect with us on Facebook!