17 Tips to Make a Great First Impression

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Be Open and Confident. When it comes to making the first impression, body language as well as appearance speaks much louder than words. Make sure it's a great one. Researchers have found that a first impression is made within the first seven seconds after you meet someone new.

17 Tips to Make a Great First Impression
The first few seconds are all it takes for a person to form a first impression of you. And people stereotype you in those fatal few seconds, and it is an uphill task to try and change it later on. So in stead, try the following 16 tips to make a great first impression, whether it be a date or a business meeting.

1. Smile

As the saying goes, "Smile and the world smiles too." So there's nothing like a smile to create a good first impression. A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. So smiling is a winner when it comes to great first impressions. But don't go overboard with this – people who take this too far can seem insincere and smarmy, or can be seen to be "lightweights."

2. Attire

Attire can really make or break a first impression. Always make sure you wear an appropriate dress for the event. When in doubt, err on the side of being too formal. A nice dress does go a longer way in making a great impression that one would think.

3. Grooming

Personal grooming is also equally important. Having well-groomed hair, nails and a tidy appearance will create a positive image of you.

4. Eye contact

Eye contact is very important when you first meet someone. It says that you are open and honest, and gives a nice impression of you. Make sure you maintain eye contact.

5. Mirroring

Mirroring the other person's body language, tone, posture etc is a very important factor when it comes to making a favorable impression. But make sure you do it in a subtle manner, and make the other person sense it subconsciously rather than consciously.

6. Body Language

Keep your body language open. Do not cross your legs or arms, keep your hands so that your palms are visible to the other person.

7. Confidence

Being calm and confident will surely make others take a liking to you. On the other hand, if you appear diffident and nervous, it will make people feel unsure about you and make them ill at ease too. So try to be cool and collected throughout the first meeting.

8. Positivity

It is very important to keep in mind that you should talk only positively the first time you meet someone. Keep away from gossip or negative comments, even if it is just about the weather. People will tend to classify you as a full time whiner even if you are just having a bad day. So remember to talk positive during a first meeting.

9. Listening

Keep your ears open for what others have to say. Most people love to hear their own voice, so a good listener immediately gets an entry to their good books. Resist the temptation to boast or tell long stories about yourself, and let the other person talk. This does not mean being silent though. Ask questions, be interested in the other person. And do join in on the conversation.

10. Manners

Politeness and courtesy are very important. Make sure you are well-mannered and do not make rude comments or racist/sexist jokes.

11. Compliments

A genuine compliment can always make someone warm up to you. And with very little effort it is possible to find something to compliment in every one (unless you are too cynical of course, in which case you would have to put in more effort and combat your natural instincts ;) ).

12. Punctuality

Be on time. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Everyone is bound to feel antipathic towards people who keep them waiting, so be a few mintes early. Being late on your first meeting is an irreparable damage.

13. Small talk

Conversations are based on verbal give and take. It may help you to prepare questions you have for the person you are meeting for the first time beforehand. Or, take a few minutes to learn something about the person you meet for the first time before you get together. 

For instance, does he play golf? Does she work with a local charitable foundation?  Is there anything that you know of that you have in common with the person you are meeting? If so, this can be a great way to open the conversation and to keep it flowing.

14. Posture

Standing and sitting straight is an important non-verbal cue you send out to others. It helps project an image of confidence and capability.

15. Being yourself

Do not try too hard. Try to relax and be yourself, and don't think too much. Tell yourself that the people you meet are all human beings after all, and that you will be just fine.

16. Forgiveness

Remember that the person who is meeting you for the first time is also susceptible to faux pas. Give them the benefit of the doubt and cut them some slack even if they aren't perfect. Who knows, that person may even turn out to be your best friend in the future! 

17. Be on Time

Someone you are meeting for the first time is not interested in your "good excuse" for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. And allow flexibility for possible delays in traffic or taking a wrong turn. Arriving early is much better that arriving late, hands down, and is the first step in creating a great first impression.

Why first impressions are so important?

These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows. So, whether they are in your career or social life, it's important to know how to create a good first impression.
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