Making a Positive First ImpressionBy Angela Marshall, 30th Oct 2014
It only takes a few seconds for someone to assess you when you meet for the first time. Make it a positive one! In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based firstly on your appearance (the way you are dressed, your body language, your behaviour and, your mannerisms). Followed by the way you sound (pitch, accent and tone of voice) and finally the words you say.
First impressions are extremely important as they set the tone for your relationship in the future with that person.
Whether you are meeting someone for the first time in a social or business environment it’s important to know how to create a good first impression.
7 Tips for a Positive First Impression:
Dress appropriately for the occasion whether it is formal business, casual or evening social but express your personality that represents you and your business. Ensure your clothes are well pressed and that they fit you well. Have good grooming by being neat, tidy and presentable, including your nails, hair and shoes. If you look and feel the part you feel more confident and have better self-esteem.
Good Body Language
Have good posture, eye contact, give a good handshake (if appropriate, especially in business), give active signs of listening (nod or comment) when they are talking and remember to smile. It creates good will and is a sign of friendship.
Be on Time
Plan to be on time in fact it is better to be a few minutes early and allow for some flexibility.
Be Yourself, Be Calm and Relaxed
Appear confident even if you feel a bit on edge. Almost everyone gets a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time. The more you meet people and practice the easier it will become.
Small Talk and Network
Think of topics you can discuss and find out as best you can some common interests e.g. football, tennis, and music. In the UK it is always easy to start with the weather as it changes so often and can be different in different areas.
Making a good impression includes being polite and courteous to the other person. Remember to turn off your mobile phone especially once you have met. However, you may need it to buzz if you are waiting for them!
Be positive and enthusiastic as your attitude will show through unless you are a good actor.