You only get one chance to make a good first impression. The initial conversation and even the first few seconds of the meeting can set the tone in a relationship for years to come. Whether it’s a job interview, first date, networking, or just meeting a new friend, these tips to improve your first impression are universal for any situation you may find yourself in.
Maintain your composure
Appearing cool, calm and composed says a lot when meeting someone for the first time. A firm handshake and a friendly smile go a long way when it comes to appearing composed. However, composure is also a mindset. There are many different ways you can improve your mental state to strengthen your composure internally.
To reduce your anxiety and stress, try meditation! Along with improving your mental state, mediation allows you to find relief during moments of panic. If you’re feeling stressed about meeting someone for the first time, consider taking a few minutes beforehand to practice some mindfulness exercises or just simply sit in silence. You may be amazed at how spending this short amount of time focused on relaxation can stick with you and provide the added confidence you need to make a great first impression.
Another way to maintain your composure is by practicing positive thinking exercises. These exercises can train your mindset to better handle negative thoughts and difficult or unnerving situations. By making it a habit, you will be prepared for whatever gets thrown at you. The best part is that there are several positive thinking exercises to try. Between breathing exercises, expressing gratitude, the mirror technique and many more, you can experiment with different options until you find what works best for you.
Start with a positive outlook
Having the right mood and mindset is critical to making a good first impression. If you’re in a bad mood, it’s likely to reflect in your tone of voice or body language, and probably won’t go over well. Nobody enjoys being around someone irritable or off-putting. On the other hand, if you’re cheerful and look happy, people will think you are a joy to be around. When making a first impression, be sure to make a quick mood adjustment, even if you have to fake it for a moment.
Besides actually being in a good mood, you can portray one with social cues. You should seem eager to meet this new person. Using positive adjectives in your dialogue can help too. Standing with an open posture and talking with your hands makes you seem warm and inviting, especially when paired with a few laughs and a bright smile. You’ll just want to make sure that you have a smile worth showing off by following tips for good oral health.
Phone on silent
Cell phones have ingrained into our daily lives quite intensely. It can be extremely difficult to resist the urge to check our phones, especially when we hear the ring or feel the vibration of a notification. However, it’s rude to use your phone during a conversation, especially when you’re in the company of someone you’ve just met. Keep your phone stowed away and silent in your pocket. If you’re likely to get distracted just from the buzzing, turn off the vibration too.
With technology so intrigued in our daily lives, cell phone etiquette is something to be aware of now more than ever before. Even if it’s just for a moment, checking your phone during a conversation signals that there is something more important than the person you’re talking to. If you can stay engaged in the conversation, the person you’re chatting with will be sure to notice.
Asking questions not only shows that you are an engaged listener but also helps you to get to know the person better. On the flip side, this new person will appreciate the feeling that you are interested in them and want to learn more. Simple questions to spark conversation are a good place to start to keep things flowing and easygoing.
The more you learn about someone, the better chance you have at finding common ground. Whether it’s an interest in similar sports teams, or an appreciation for art, building quick and fun connections with someone are the building blocks to further the relationship. Mutual interests are also the perfect way to decide on when to meet next after developing an initial contact.
Follow up immediately
Whether it’s an interview, date, or just a new friend, you should follow up with them after your first meeting if you want to further the relationship. Make sure to get their contact information before parting ways, and then consider reaching out the next day or shortly after. You can just thank them for their time, express your joy in meeting them or even make plans to meet again. Ultimately, following up shows that you’re interested and want to get to know them even better. There’s no playing “hard-to-get” here.