It has often been said that first impression is everything whenever we meet and interact with someone for the first time.
The saying, “You will not get a second chance to make a good first impression” still holds true today but there are ways we can recover if we’ve blown our chance initially.
Consider these scenarios:
- Going for a job interview.
- Presenting a business proposal.
- Giving a sales presentation.
- Meeting the parents or family of your significant other for the first time.
- Going to a social or business networking event.
In each of those situations, the impression we make first plays a significant part in whether we achieve our objective or not.
The good news is it’s easy to leave a good first impression and it won’t take much effort at all to get it right.
I recently attended a business seminar that had approximately forty people in attendance. Before the seminar started, a few of the attendees were sitting around, scrolling through their phones, waiting for the doors to open.
A man approached me and asked what the time was. We then began a conversation by introducing ourselves to each other. Within two or three minutes, the man, asked, “Sorry, what’s your name again?”
I was a little surprised he had forgotten so quickly and I must admit, he did not leave me with a good first impression.
When referring to leaving a good first impression, that does not necessarily mean the first few seconds of an interaction. It refers to the amount of time taken to get into a conversation with another person. Most times, it’s within the first couple of minutes, so that’s really the amount of time we have to leave a positive impression.
Don’t Make This Mistake
Sometimes people try too hard and come off as being inauthentic. They try to be someone they’re not and most times, people can sense they are not being themselves. The key thing to remember is that we should always be ourselves.
3 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression
- Enjoy yourself and have fun. People will always remember us if we’re enthusiastic and confident. This can be done through a confident handshake, making eye contact with the person we’re speaking to, saying their name during the conversation, and maintaining proper body language.
- Listen more than you speak. It’s important that we are interested in the other person first rather than trying to be interesting first up. This is where being able to ask intelligent questions will leave a bigger impression on the other person than anything we say about ourselves.
- Focus on how you want to leave the other person. The law of recency states that we tend to remember things at the beginning and end of any experience. While first impressions are important, how we leave the other person is just as important. This is where we focus on what feelings we want the other person to have about us. We can do that by raising our energy levels and being even more enthusiastic than we were at the start.
If we remember to be present and be ourselves during any social interaction, we have a good chance of leaving a good first impression. If we include the ideas suggested above as well, then we will always leave a great first impression. The key is to put these ideas into practice consistently.
Question: What is something else we can do to leave a positive first impression?
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