Have you ever wished that you had a second chance to make a first impression? If so, you are certainly not alone. Probably just about every one of us has had this wish, as well, at one time or another.
There are some circumstances where you can prepare before meeting someone new and other times you are taken by surprise.
For both of those scenarios, there are tips and techniques for making a great first impression every time.
1. Always Remember to Breathe
Whenever you are faced with a new, exciting, or even nerve-wracking situation, it is important to remember proper breathing. Your first instinct is probably to hold in your abdomen and tighten up your chest.
Proper breathing and relaxing your diaphragm allows more oxygen to transfer into your blood. Diaphragmatic breathing allows for more air into your lungs, as well. This means that you will experience more of a relaxed state of mind and an increased sensation of overall well-being.
It stands to reason that if you are in a relaxed state of mind when you first encounter a new individual or scenario, you will be more confident, leaving a better first impression.
Being able to relax equates to being yourself, which can lead to leaving an awesome and unforgettable first impression.
2. Stand up Straight
Remember how you were told as a young child to stand up straight? (I heard this a LOT.) Well, when it comes to making a good first impression, posture is everything.
If you slouch, you show your insecurity. If you stand straight and tall, you exude confidence.
3. Slight of Hand
A good first impression may happen as quickly as a handshake. A good firm handshake as compared to a limp or non-existent handshake can make or break the deal.
A solid handshake shows that you are pleased to meet with someone and are confident, as well.
4. Dress Your Best
Something else you may remember from your childhood is to dress your best because you never know whom you might meet. While you do not always have to run around in your Sunday best, it does make sense to appear neat and tidy.
Your clothing says it all. If you are neat and tidy, this gives the impression that you are reliable and trustworthy, as well as successful.
Side note: This point reminds me of a Frasier episode when he was let go of his radio job and in old dirty sweats returning some dog food Eddy wouldn’t eat. Outside the grocery store he ran into an old high school classmate and the classmate thought Frasier was homeless because of the way he was dressed and pushing a grocery cart with dog food.
No matter what Frasier said he could not get through to the classmate that he was fine, financially. The classmate then handed Frasier money, so he could buy food and not have to eat “dog food”… Oh Frasier, if you had only changed clothes before running that errand.
5. Being a Good Listener
While body language plays an integral part in success, being a good listener is important, as well. While dressing right, smiling, making eye contact, and standing tall are equally important, sometimes the art of listening is just as important, as well.
When someone is speaking, allow her opportunity to finish what she has to say. You can nod your head, tilt your head, make eye contact, and smile as you listen. Everyone loves when someone else listens to what they have to say not to mention that your likeability factor goes up, too.
If you regularly practice these five tips I can guarantee you’ll make a great first impression, every time!