People make snap judgments about others from the word go. People form opinions based on appearance, body language, demeanor, mannerisms, and dress.
While these first impressions can be difficult to reverse or undo, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression.
Here I’ve compiled some tips for stand-out introductions.
- Be on Time. Plan to arrive a few minutes early, and allow for possible delays. Do not arrive late.
- Be at Ease. While everyone always advises to “be yourself,” what is really necessary in these situations is to project wellbeing and confidence. If you appear comfortable and in control, this will help you in your new professional relationship.
- Present Yourself Appropriately. Start with the way you dress. What is the appropriate dress for the meeting or occasion? Ask yourself what the person you’ll be meeting is likely to wear as this may help you strike the right note. A clean and neat appearance is appropriate for all business and social occasions.
- Stand out. The good news is that a good impression doesn’t require total conformity. Though you do need strong grooming habits and appropriate attire, though you do need to project calm and control even when nervous, you are still you and should come across as such. Give some personality and individuality to your appearance and conduct, all within reason of course.
- Talk the talk and walk the walk. Use your body language to project a reliable and confident demeanor. Stand tall, smile, make eye contact, and greet others with a firm handshake. Be aware of your nervous habits.
- Make the small talk. Prepare questions for the person you are meeting beforehand. Take few minutes to learn something about that person before you get together, i.e. a love a golf, of charitable causes, of travel. Is there anything you have in common?
- Be Positive.
- Be polite. It is amazing to me in life how frequently people are rude or discourteous to one another. Don’t be one of those people. This rule does not only apply to the new client or other new associate but to everyone involved in this first meeting and the ones to follow. Treat the receptionist, the waiter, and the security officer as if their opinion is as important as that VIP.