4 Killer Steps to Make a Great First Impression Anytime
First of all, this isn’t an article about you. It is about the person you want to meet. That business leader you have set an appointment date with to discuss about your business. That investor you want to meet invest in your business. That individual you want to partner with in a business. That beautiful lady/handsome man you want to meet for a relationship. That bank manager you want to meet for loan for your business start-up. Whoever you are going to meet for the first time, it is necessary you go with a sense of enthusiasm and cheerfulness. The saying “You only have one chance to make a first impression” holds true in all of the case mentioned.
First impressions have a significant effect on the future of a relationship. In a first impression, the person you are meeting is trying to answer in his mind two basic question about you: “are your intentions good?” and “are you competent?” Some people seem to have a natural charisma that leaves no doubt about these questions.
First impressions matter so much because they happen fast, and they are stubborn, says Whitney Johnson, the author of “Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work”. “We make judgments (about other people) in a nanosecond.” And once that impression is formed, it’s “very, very hard to change it.” That is, your relationships and interactions will be more easier if you’re able to immediately start off strong. So here are a few ways you can make sure people’s first impression of you is a good one:
People like to think that we make our first impression once we start talking and that’s why we spend so much effort on introductions. Unfortunately, your first impression happens the moment someone sets his/her eyes on you. So whatever you are doing, do it with purpose and a smile.
Leo Buscaglia said; “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”. People judge smiling faces as trustworthy, and angry-looking faces as untrustworthy.
Set an intention
This is also one of the most important thing you are to do for giving a good impression. This is especially important before any kind of big event where you would be meeting a lot of people — i.e. conferences, networking events or friend’s parties. Know why you are going for the meeting? When you have a clear goal about your meeting and the person you are going to meet, you are more likely to be perceived as someone who is mature and competent.
Give a good body language
Body language is a crucial part of first impressions. Everything from your posture to how you carry yourself to the way you’re angling your body. When meeting someone new, it’s normal to be nervous but you don’t have to show it so the best thing is to try to curtail. Your body language should be confident and comfortable (Sit up straight and walk with your chest held high).
Be as fascinating and bold in your conversation as good as you can be. Do not be intimidated by the person you are meeting with. You do not need to make an impression with a vast knowledge. Just be grounded in your area of expertise. Try as much as you can to answer the questions thrown to you confidently and be mindful to create a conversation that’s memorable” and engaging. The better you make the person feel, the more he/she will be inclined to have a positive impression of you.
Keep in mind also that people love to talk about themselves as well so ask thoughtful, open-ended questions while you give them a chance to be heard.
I am the Founder and President of Young Leaders Arena. Formerly I was the Chief Editor and program co-ordinator at Walktall. Author of the upcoming Book; Success Recipe: Start up Tool-kit for exceptional business growth. I have written numerous articles on both leadership, business start up, entrepreneurship. I have served as thought leader in many societies and organisations, including the Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I obtained my post graduate from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I also have a Bachelors from the Delta State University, Abraka. Twitter & Instagram: @Charlessholokwu