The first impression refers to a mental picture you create in first encounters. You create this impression within the first few seconds of the meeting. Once your first impression is made, you cannot change it, and it is used to define you. Therefore, it’s crucial to give the best impression during first encounters. Here are 8 ways to make a better first impression.
1. Dress code
When you walk into a new place, the audience notices your attire first. Your dress code tells a lot about your personality, and as such, you should be careful about what to wear to first meetings. You should research the appropriate attire to wear on different occasions. In some cases, the meeting hosts specify the dress code to embrace. For instance, your host may require you to wear a black mens topcoat. If you choose to wear a blue one, you may give a negative first impression.
Besides, you should consider the attire’s fittings. Do not wear tight or oversize clothes, as this negatively impacts your first impression. Therefore, you should prepare the specified attire before the set meeting as this elicits a positive impression.
According to Forbes, being late contributes to a negative first impression. If you are invited to a meeting for the first time, ensure you keep time. For instance, you should be at the venue at least an hour earlier. Your host should not wait for you, as this will give a negative first impression.
Try to minimize barriers to punctuality as your host will not understand the reasons for your lateness at first glance. Therefore, punctuality contributes to creating a better first impression.
If you plan to meet an individual or group for the first time, you should check their online LinkedIn profiles to know what to anticipate. Before meeting them, check out for topics and fields that you may have in common to enhance your interaction. Without these preparations, you may engage in irrelevant conversations, and in the end, you will depict a negative impression. Thus, you should familiarise yourself with the background of the meeting attendees.
Avoid fakeness in first meetings. The attendees may realize your ingenuity and instantly develop a negative first impression about you. The attendees will interpret your ingenuity as a pretense, and this will result in a negative first impression. Rather than showing that you know everything, you should remain natural as this will depict your true self.
5. Body Language
Your body language depicts your background and culture. Since your culture interprets various signs differently, you should research your host’s culture. Prior information will reduce inappropriateness during interactions. For instance, in some cultures, hugging is considered a usual way of greeting. However, other cultures only engage in shaking hands. If you lack the relevant cultural information on body language, you may end up embarrassing yourself before your host and other meeting attendees. Therefore, you should research the body language you are unsure of to create a better first impression.
6. Names and Titles
You may find it challenging to master all the attendees’ names. Unfortunately, you may confuse your meeting host or attendees’ names and titles. Therefore, to avoid these confusions, you should write down the names in the order of your host and attendees’ arrangement. Also, seek clarification on spellings and pronunciation to avoid mistakes as you interact. Ultimately, you will make a better first impression.
During the conversation, you should avoid talking negatively about people and places. Maintain a professional tone and measure the words you utter as they contribute to your first impression. With the right word choice and professionalism, you can make a better first impression.
During your interactions, avoid lying to depict perfectionist features. You should be truthful in your views as this helps in building a rapport. Ultimately, your honesty will help you make a better positive impression.
You have only one opportunity to make a first impression. Therefore, you should take your time to prepare for the meetings, dress rightly, embrace punctuality, remain genuine and honest. You should also research and embrace the right body language, professionalism, and note down the attendees’ names and titles to avoid confusion. With these tips, you will make a better first impression.