Making a good first impression happens within seconds. How you’re dressed, the way you talk and act are some of the ways to make a good impression.
Making a good impression matters. Whether you’re trying to network, attending a seminar, or meeting your crush on a date, leaving a good impression creates a good name for yourself.
According to a study, the first seven seconds of meeting with people is all you have when trying to make a good impression of yourself. Just seven seconds? You should see my shock too! This is because we tend to judge people almost immediately by their appearance and decide if they are worth our time or not.
Knowing you and I have less than seven seconds to leave a good impression, what are the ways to make a good impression?
Ways to Make A Good Impression
1. Dressing Appropriately is the First Way to Make a Good First Impression
I remember while growing up, my mum would always dress me up for school with the phrase “dress the way you want to be addressed”. I was always fond of not combing my hair which made me look like a mini-thug.
When meeting a person for the first time, dressing appropriately is one way to make a good first impression. How you’re dressed is usually the first impression you give off and determines how you’d be perceived. If you’re met randomly by someone wearing a lab coat, it is natural to conclude that such a person works in the medical field. When meeting people, you should be dressed in a way that you’re perceived as decent.
Physical appearance is not limited to just how you’re dressed. It also includes how you smell. If you’re dressed appropriately but you give off a weird smell, you inevitably become a turn-off to the people you’re meeting, which brings us to personal hygiene.
Are your clothes clean?
Have you brushed?
Do you have your hair well-combed or well packed?
Do you smell nice?
You may not know this but while trying to smell nice, make sure your perfume is one of great smell quality. I have attended workshops where I’ve had to switch seats because the perfume my seatmate was wearing was choking.[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”cdr3efhkj2″ question=”Have you ever had the same experience?” opened=”0″][/wpdiscuz-feedback]
You should also dress for the occasion. You do not want to be dressed in lawyer’s regalia for a wedding. For a business meeting, you are either to be in suits or blazers.
A traditional occasion requires you to be adorned in your native wear.
2. Keeping a Smiling Face Creates a Good First Impression
You have seven seconds to make a good impression and you intend to begin with a frowning face? Comrade, you’re off to a bad start! A frowning face carries the impression that you’re angry, sad, or disturbed, and trust me, no one wants that.
So if a frowning face creates a negative aura, what better way to make a good first impression than by smiling? Smiling leaves a positive impression on you. In fact, people are naturally attracted to those who smile. Putting up a hard face doesn’t speak well about you. When meeting with people, smiling is the first memorable feature people notice about you.
In addition, smiling makes people comfortable around you. It also has numerous health benefits such as reducing stress hormones, boosting mental health well-being, and contributing positively to your physical health. Plus smiling has a contagious effect. You can light up a room with a smile.
Also, you do not want to have a fake grin plastered all over your face. Your smile has to be authentic and sincere. If you’re having a hard time smiling, here’s my life hack 101- try remembering a special moment in your life, an event, or an occasion – like when she said yes or when he proposed.
A smile is all takes to make a good first impression!
3. Use Good Proper Language to Express Yourself
You are probably familiar with words like “I like your vibe”, “You give off good energy”. All these are positive expressions of good body language and it is one of the ways to make a good first impression.
My Dad taught me the power of a handshake. He said and I quote;
When shaking hands with people, be confident and shake firmly with your full hands. Never leave people’s hands hanging.
Your body language communicates a lot about you without you even speaking. It tells how confident you’re if you’re nervous or not and if people can be at ease around you.
Simple things like shaking hands, going around greeting people, and smiling are positive body language. Avoid turning your back on people in meetings or gatherings. Make appropriate eye contact when communicating instead of looking down.
Work on nervous habits such as biting your nails, playing with your fingers, or putting your hands in your pockets.
4. Speaking Eloquently Can Make a Good First Impression
When meeting people, especially for the first time, the possibility of your brain going blank and your tongue failing you is very high. Remember when you tried to approach your crush and your village people pulled your shy switch?
Jack loves meeting new people but every time he tries to strike a conversation, he feels shy and his confidence fails him. I used to be Jack, Jack was me. I found out, the hard way, that not being able to speak clearly is one way to leave a wrong impression.
Meeting new people should build a desire in you to leave a good impression. You would want to make sure the person you’re meeting has a reason to want to listen to you. To achieve this, be gentle when you speak and think! Do not just greet because you have to. Ensure your greeting is calm and precise. Also, address the person politely and avoid talking loudly. For example, if you go to an event, you could always address a person like this:
“Good evening, Sir/Ma (say the name of the person if you know who you’re addressing), what a lovely event we’re having here”.
Then you can proceed with a confident handshake.
5. Be a Good Active Listener
One mistake you can make when trying to make a good impression is failing to pay attention to whom you’re talking to. The truth is, we want to be heard and end up not hearing what others are saying.
Active listening is one of the ways the make a good impression. It allows you to hear the thoughts of others and gives them the feeling that their thoughts are being heard and understood. Most times, you’re always planning what you’re going to say next while another person is talking. This probably means you were not listening closely.
Therefore, pay attention to what others are saying and be ready to ask questions so that they can elaborate on their thoughts. This way, you present yourself as a good conversationist and leave a good impression on your speaker.
Making a good first impression happens within the first few seconds of meeting someone. Some of the ways to make a good first impression include appropriately presenting yourself, keeping a smiling face, shaking hands, maintaining eye contact, and speaking fluently. These methods can be applied to any situation – whether you’re going on a date, attending a seminar or workshop, or preparing for a business meeting.
The festive season is fast approaching and you’re definitely going to be meeting new people. Let me know in the comments section how you’d put these tips to use.