How do you want to be perceived by others? Does making a great first impression affect your job, goals, relationships or your lifestyle? It only takes 3 seconds before they have sized you up and have formed an impression about you. It doesn’t seem fair, but unfortunately it happens everyday.
In very little time, the other person has formed an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, smile , and how you are dressed.
Five Steps to Making a Great First Impression:
1. Dress Appropriately
Dress appropriately. Of course physical appearance does matter. Remember, you are meeting this person for the first time and all this person has to go on is what they see first! This doesn’t mean that you need to try to look like a super model but, be intentional about what you are wearing. Be sure to think about what is appropriate for the situation at hand. For example, color is the first thing you notice about a person, and as a first impression the strategic placement & choice of color of can be extremely powerful. If you are not sure what to wear then you may need to hire a professional to help you get your look together for you.
If you dress and look like a winner – the world will treat you like one! You may be preventing your advancement in your career or personal life by dressing inappropriately and giving the wrong signals. Sometimes we just don’t know the basics and we don’t realize how a few simple changes can affect our entire life. Changing your appearance will allow you to increase income, enhance your social life and achieve specific goals. Do your homework on all of your prospects ( it’s helpful to know if a certain dress attire is offensive ). Always be genuine and show your unique personality.
2. Find your connection.
As you prepare for your initial meeting, come up with a few things to talk about as well as four generic questions that will get others talking. Be the first to say, hello! If you’re not sure the other person will remember you, offer your name to ease the pressure. Take your time during introductions. Make an extra effort to remember names and use them frequently. Have something interesting to contribute. Keeping abreast of current events and culture will provide you with great conversation builders, leading with “What do you think of…?” Have you heard…?” What is your take on…?” Stay away from negative talk or controversial subject matter, and refrain from long-winded stories or giving a lot of detail in casual conversation. It’s ok to be a little witty too!
The is nothing like a smile to make a good first impression. A warm friendly confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. So smiling is imperative to making a good first impression. We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.
4. Be Attentive and Courteous
Make eye contact. Stay focused on the person you are speaking with and certainly not on anything else to avoid them feeling unappreciated and unwanted. Focus 100% on what is being said. When they have finished talking do not jump in immediately. Wait and process what has just been said to you. Then take some time to think carefully about what you want to say. And then you can talk! Take the time to turn off your mobile phone. There is no better way to ruin a first impression than a cell phone going off in the middle of an in-depth conversation.
5. Be Confident
Be confident and outgoing! Try giving compliments to the person or people you want to talk to. By doing this you can start a good conversation. When a person realizes someone has these easy going qualities, they find them easier to talk with and much more welcoming. Proper posture is imperative. Body language can tell someone a lot about your mood and confidence level. Slouching with your head facing down only makes you look shy, scared and unsure of yourself. You don’t want that. You must always stand straight and tall. Look in a mirror and practice, practice, practice! You’ll look more confident and proud to be yourself. Close on a good note to keep them wanting more…….Remember to be yourself! Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Tracey Evelyn is a Body Image and Fashion Consultant who helps women to learn to love their bodies and reinvent themselves through Wardrobe Styling, Makeup Artistry and Personal Shopping. Contact: Tracey@Traceyevelynbeautifulyou.com Twitter: @Traceyevelyninc Phone: 484-479-6730