Whether you are about to meet someone for the first time for employment purposes or just to socialize, it is important to always make sure that you make a great first impression. The first impressions that people form about others usually emanate from their immediate observation on how they carry themselves. Attributes such as the person’s attitude, their general look (clean and tidy), how they act and what they say are what people use to formulate an impression about others.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help you make a great first impression as shared by Verywell Mind.
Be aware of your body language – non-verbal signals can convey a great deal of information, so it is important to make sure that your body language reinforces the impression you are trying to make. Maintain an open posture and make sure you keep your body angled toward the other person. Sit or stand straight and keep your arms at your sides and your legs straight. Crossing your arms or legs can seem closed off or even defensive.
Dress appropriately – appearance, including how you dress, can help convey information about who you are to others. If you are dressed correctly for the occasion, it may help people form a good impression of you. This doesn’t mean that you can’t express yourself through your appearance, but it is important to consider how you want to be perceived. Choose clothing that looks neat, is suited to the occasion, and helps you feel comfortable and confident when meeting new people.
Watch your expressions – in addition to using good body language, be sure to watch how you are responding with your facial expressions. Smiling for example, can help convey warmth and genuine interest. If you are feeling tense, such as during a job interview or while speaking in public, try to maintain a relaxed expression. Researchers have found that people perceive people with happy expressions as more trustworthy.
Consider your words – when speaking to others, focus on using language that is polite, respectful, and non-judgmental. While there are certain opinions or subjects you might feel comfortable discussing with people who already know you well, it is best to try to be considerate of other people’s feelings and backgrounds when you are first introduced. Knowing how to make small talk can be helpful. Neutral topics such as the weather, hobbies, sports, travel, and food can be great icebreakers.
Show interest in others – when you are speaking to someone new, practice active listening. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say and make sure that you are listening to their responses. Focusing on the other person is also a great strategy if you are feeling anxious about meeting new people. By concentrating on the other person, you’re less likely to focus on your own nervousness.
Also see: Style SOS! What to wear on your first date