03 Oct 2017

7 tips for making a great first impression

Many believe that making a great first impression is a natural, unteachable trait. That is just not true…here are our top tips to ensure that first meeting always goes well.

1. The first 7 minutes count

Research shows that people decide whether they like you or not in the first 7 minutes of meeting. They then use the rest of the time to see if their initial assumption is correct. So make sure you make the most of those first few minutes.

2. Listen

Not listening properly is one of the main reasons for why we do not connect well with others. We’re too focused on what we are going to say next or what the other person is thinking of us that we fail to listen and truly engage.

3. Smile

People naturally mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you then smile at them during a conversation and they will subconsciously return the favour – making you feel good as a result.

4. Remember and use names

People feel validated when the person they are speaking to uses their name during a conversation. Make an effort to remember someone’s name when they introduce themselves and then try and use it in conversation where relevant.

5. Prepare talking points

Before meeting someone new do your homework. Note down key things that you want to get across when you meet them – you might want to try and naturally get across things you have in common.

6. Check your body language

Practise confident body language before you meet with someone. Walk long strides, sit up straight, hold your head up high. It makes such a difference to how who you meet perceives you.

7. Follow up 

Make sure your first impression sticks by following up with a note or an email. Show that you have thought about the meeting and express how valuable the time was to you. You may also just want to consider connecting on LinkedIn.