DM

25 Jan 2018

108. HOW TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION

The impact you make when you first meet someone will influence how they perceive you and how the relationship develops thenceforth. What’s more, that perception can be very difficult to change.

DECIDE WHAT IS ‘RIGHT’

Before you attempt to leave a good impression on someone, think about what you want to achieve. Do you, for instance, want the other party to remember you, above all else, as a warm and friendly person, as being highly professional or for being entirely authentic and genuine? How you dress and act and what you say during the interaction can then be shaped around achieving these ends.

BE PUNCTUAL

Turning up even slightly late can sour an encounter before it has even begun. Whatever the reason for your lateness, it is likely to give the impression that you are either poorly organised, undisciplined, uninterested or even disrespectful. It will also mean you have no time to compose yourself, and will be more focused on making your excuses than the necessary introductions. Plan ahead for every possible delay and arrive early.

PLAN AND PREPARE

To make a great impression you need to come across as being natural and at ease, because your calm confidence will put the other person at ease as well. Confidence, however, comes from being well prepared, so do your homework. If you’re attending an interview or business meeting, think about how you might respond to questions and what you might ask in return. Meanwhile, preparing for some amount of small talk will always help. Be interesting and be interested.

FIND COMMON GROUND

Small talk thrives and bonds are formed when there’s a common link between you and the other person, whether it be a shared home town, leisure interest or contact. Identifying such a commonality early on in the conversation, as naturally as you can, will help to leave a memorable and positive impression.

ASK FOR HELP

Most of us have some bad habits when we meet new people, whether it be glancing at the time out of nervousness, talking about ourselves in too much detail, or endlessly dropping names and achievements in the hope that it will impress. It often takes the people who know us best to spot these habits and bring them to attention. Ask a trusted advisor or friend if there’s anything you might improve upon.

USE POSITIVE BODY LANGUAGE

Apparently, people make decisions about others within seven seconds, which means getting appearance and non-verbal communication right is essential. Be conscious of how you hold yourself, adopting a shoulders-back posture and avoiding crossing the arms and legs. Look the other person in the eye when talking to them and when they are speaking, and remember to smile.