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Making a Good First Impression

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 7 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
First Impressions Impress Impression

First impressions count for a lot and you only have a few seconds to impress someone. Most of their impression will be formed before you even speak, so you need to make sure that you exude the right signals. Remember that preparation is key.

Look the Part

Everybody makes huge judgements about other people by the way that they are dressed and presented. Even if you have great things to say, they can easily be put off by the way you look. To make a great first impression, Dress Appropriately for the occasion and audience. Choose clothes that make you stand out for the right reasons. Also, make sure that the rest of your appearance is well presented and that you look professional.

Timing is Everything

Nobody is going to be impressed if you arrive late so leave yourself plenty of time, know where you are going and have a number to call in case you get lost or are held up. Try to arrive at your location early so that have time to adjust your appearance, gather your thoughts and be prepared and relaxed when you meet people.

The Importance of a Smile

A smile goes a very long way. It shows that you are calm, confident and approachable and helps people instantly warm to you. The majority of our communication is non-verbal so your body language says a lot about you and you need to work on it. Walk into a room with your shoulders back and head held high, looking confident. Greet people with a firm hand shake, be open – don’t cross your arms – and make sure that you smile. You need to find a line between looking confident and in control but being attentive and humble.

Be Attentive

There is nothing that people love more than talking about themselves. To make a good first impression you have to convey your interest for what they are saying. Don’t stand there in silence but let them do most of the talking and respond briefly, asking questions to show that you are paying attention. Gestures such as a nod of the head or mutter of agreement will go a long way towards making you look attentive and you will form a good impression.

Making a good first impression is always important as it is often difficult to change people’s minds after they have first met you. Get the basics right first. Look the part by dressing appropriately and make sure that you arrive on time. After that, you need to work on your body language and persona. Look confident but approachable and remain attentive by showing interest in what others are saying and asking questions.

The art of Communication

Good communication can help you to progress in your career. While for some people this comes naturally, for others it is a skill to be learnt. Find out how to improve your communication skills in our article How to Communicate Effectively.

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