Within the first 30 seconds of meeting someone, they have already built an opinion about you. That's why making a good impression the first time you meet is incredibly important - especially if there's something crucial on the line like a job or future relationship. Since you only get one shot at making that great first impression, here are a few tips that you can implement to ensure you get it right the first time!
1. Be Prepared
Before attending an event that you know will involve meeting someone for the first time, make sure you mentally prepare. This means setting an intention for the event. Who do you want to meet? What are your goals? What types of people do you want to connect with? Once you have these questions answered, make sure that your clothing and accessories are appropriate for the occasion and represent yourself in the way you'd like to be percieved.
2. Show Genuine Interest
People love to talk about themselves. People also can tell whether you are happy to be attending an event, or if you were dragged there by a friend. During a first interaction, it's crucial that you present yourself pleasantly and express an interest in the person you are connecting with. The best way to do this is by giving genuine compliments and asking appropriate questions.
3. Have Talking Points Prepared
There's nothing worse than meeting someone for the first time and having nothing to talk about. The awkwardness of extended silence can really put a damper on a first interaction. To prevent this from happening, have some talking points lined up before whatever event you are attending. These talking points will depend on the situation, but in general should come up naturally during your course of discussion.
4. Be Conscious of Your Body Language.
You're body language can sometimes speak louder than your words. Everything from your posture, to how you carry yourself will silently speak to your overall mood and affect the impression you set. Simply being aware of your body language can result in immediate improvements. Some subconscious cues to keep in mind include the positioning of your shoulders, the way you shake hands, and the micro-expressions in your face during conversation.
5. Be Positive
Positivity is contagious! If you want to make a great impression without even trying, stay positive and energetic! If you are feeling depressed or anxious before an event, try watching some funny youtube videos or complete a quick workout. Activities like this boost serotonin levels and can help improve your mood immediately. Although, if you cannot seem to snap out of it, it might be better to cancel or reschedule than show up in a negative mood.