A lot goes into just meeting someone for the first time.
Whether it’s a simple glance across a courtyard or a full-on interview, encounters can easily shake our foundations.
Fortunately, many practical methods reveal how to make a strong first impression on anyone.
Employ Social Skills
If you want to make a strong first impression, basic social skills are a must. In an increasingly remote society, this can seem like a challenge. However, quite a few easy techniques will always leave a positive mark.
The first is simple eye contact. Maintaining someone’s gaze confers a sense of confidence. It’s essential not to stare down someone accidentally or shift your gaze too often.
Practice in the mirror, or make eye contact a little at a time when watching movies. A calm smile also tends to put people at ease and show how at ease you are.
Avoid fidgeting as well, as this can belie just how anxious you may be. Get into the habit of folding your hands and keeping your restless legs flat on the ground and still.
Look Your Very Best
In addition to mastering non-verbal communication, you also want to look the part. Regardless of how well you use social cues, people will still make snap judgments.
An appearance that doesn’t match the attitude can leave people confused or feeling wary. A good rule of thumb is to strike a balance between casual and formal. Try putting less of yourself forward, and let classy clothes speak louder than trends, brands, and graphics.
For men, check out different styling tips when it comes to wearing suits and different degrees of formality. Women have it a little easier when it comes to office casual looks and more formal ones. Often, any combination of dresses, blouses, dress shirts, dress pants, and so on can create a unique and appropriately impressive appearance.
Use Small-Talk Strategically
How to make a strong first impression on anyone ultimately comes down to ability in conversation. Thinking of things to say can be a challenge—especially the right things to say when it matters.
Rather than fumble awkwardly for topics, do the hard work ahead of time. Long before starting an important conversation, take the pressure off by brainstorming topics. Think about who you’re going to chat with and the ways you’d like to connect.
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For someone you want to impress socially, research ice breaker questions. You can also take the time to plan out how you would respond to each question in case they ask for an answer in return. For those serious conversations and interviews, explore the internet for common questions the other person may ask you.
Talk to people hiring into similar positions, and think out how you would respond to each. That way, you can respond promptly and coherently without having to stop too long to reflect on each question. Having a backlog of friendly and interesting topics in the back of your mind will help ensure the conversation never falls flat or suffers long pauses!
Image Credit: how to make a strong first impression by envato.com
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