It takes just a glance, maybe about three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed. It is also a great first impression formally.
With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person’s impression of you is formed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, and they often set the tone for the relationship that follows.
So, you must know how to make a great first impression formally. This article provides some useful tips to help you do this.
Be careful with your body language and posture
Effective body language goes beyond standing up straight and having a firm handshake, although those things are important, too. When you are meeting someone for the first time, keep your posture open, don’t tightly cross your arms or legs, don’t ball your hands into fists, and don’t hunch over in your seat. Lean in when you talk to show you are actively listening and engaged in the conversation. And you should not be afraid to take up some space at the table. If you normally use hand gestures or move around to communicate, do not hold back.
Whatbehaviors should you aim to avoid? It is quite smart to refrain from tapping, touching your face too often, placing objects in front of yourself, and sitting or standing too close to others.
Modulate your pitch and tone of voice
A high-pitched tone of voice can make you seem childish or nervous, especially if you do tend to “up talk” or use a rising inflection at the end of your sentences. It has been shown thatpeople perceive those who have a rising intonationas less knowledgeable, no matter what they are saying.
Nevertheless,faster speakers are considered to be more confident, according to a study performed at Brigham Young University. However, even if you are talking fast, be sure to avoid usingfiller wordssuch as “ah,” “um,” “like,” and other similar phrases whenever possible. It shows hesitation. You should try practicing not relying on those filler words in front of a camera to train yourself.
Choose your words wisely
Words matter even more than you think. Positive and persuasive words and phrases couldoften open doorsto make people feel relaxed in your presence, which makes them more willing to work with you.
This point is especially valuable if you are making a first impression in a job interview. You want potential employers to see you positive, flexible, and capable also. Therefore, you should use language that reflects optimism and agency instead of negativity.
Regardless of how little you care about fashion or style, what you wear matters. While you want to look clean and neat, it is also important to match or slightly exceed the relative level of formality of the person or business you are meeting with, whether that is business formal, casual, or something in between.
If you want to show off your personality, you should try including one accessory that could be considered a memorable item or even a conversation piece. It could be anything from a unique piece of jewelry to a fancy tie to a pair of fun socks.
Make eye contact
Focusing on the person or people you are speaking with. It is quite difficult to get to know someone when you are looking down at a screen, so make an effort tomake some eye contactwith everyone in the room.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that eye contact can also backfire, according to a study by theUniversity of British Columbia. If people are not persuaded or inclined to be on your side, they may concentrate more on your mouth or any presentation materials you are showcasing instead of your eyes. Also, you should make attempts at eye contact a challenge.
Know your audience
Do your research. If your meeting is planned, you should know plenty about the person or business that you are meeting with before you arrive. This means that you “Google” the people you will be meeting with, the company founders/co-founders, their history, their competition, their main products, and any other relevant info before you walk into the room.
Looking for an effective tool to help you gather some background information? Please check outCharlie App. This app scans hundreds of sources to uncover information about the person you are meeting with and sends you a one-pager with all the details.
Also,LinkedInis a great place to check out who you’re meeting with and learn more about them.
There is nothing worse than an unproductive meeting. To make a good first impression, be sure that you are respectful of everyone’s time. If you are meeting with someone working remotely, plan accordingly. That said, if you are being productive and everyone has the bandwidth, it might be okay if the meeting runs long, ensure you check in with the group before making the call.
Meeting time managementis the key to building an engaged group of clients or colleagues. Plus, it shows respect for their schedules.
When you are meeting someone for the first time, don’t try to be someone you are not. If you don’t know the answer to something they ask, don’t fake it. The ability to lean into your weakness points shows that you are self-aware.
Nevertheless, be sure not to overemphasize your shortcomings. It may seem simple, but avoiding the “report card problem” or highlighting weaknesses. And, how you may fix them can cause you to only showcase the negatives, or at least make them the biggest part of your overall impression. While you don’t want to hide any weaknesses, you do want to be honest and move on to the good stuff, especially at the beginning of a business relationship.
Put your phone away
That goes for tablets, laptops, and any electronics, too.
If you have to use technology to deliver a presentation, that is one thing. But unless you are projecting your computer or tablet screen to present to the entire room, turn off sounds and vibrations on your mobile devices, and put your screens away. Give your complete and undivided attention to the people who you are meeting for the first time to convey your commitment, focus, and let’s face it, your good manners.
Make a connection
Pay more attention to who you are meeting with for the first time and try to forge a connection based on what they share with you. Whether it’s their alma mater or their hometown, forging a connection outside of the professional conversation can be a great way to strike up a rapport.
That being said, don’t be too creepy. You should avoid making comments about their appearance that could be perceived as inappropriate and stick to connections you might have in common. Those are more genuine than compliments anyway.
Facial expressions are very significant when it comes to making a good first impression.
Smiling’s at the start of this list for a great reason. While smiling is important, you probably don’t want to have a cheesy and inauthentic grin plastered across your face. Smile too extensively and it is going to look like you are covering up nervousness. Or you might come across as arrogant. Even a little grin can go a long way.
Don’t forget to follow up
After an initial meeting, don’t forget to follow up by sending any necessary information such as notes, presentation docs, next steps, and so on or sending a thank you note.
These gestures will help prove that you are on the ball and that you are making them a priority, rather than just another task to check off your to-do list.
Sending out updated knowledge after a meeting could also be a way to get a second chance at a first impression. It helps to show another side of your business, perhaps a more responsible side.
Don’t let a negative first impression get in the way of your ability to get to understand someone. You could follow these tips to ensure that the first time you meet with someone won’t be the last.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article.Also, you should read ourarticleslike”How to build stronger bones?”, “How to Get Rid Of Bad Breath“, ”How to Stop A Baby from Crying At Night“, and “How to stop hiccups“… to know more!