When you meet someone for the first time, whether it’s at work or in a social setting, you always want to start on the right foot. People are quick to judge and within within the first few seconds they see you they form an impression that most likely is not going to change easily. So how can you make a great first impression, one where people judge you accurately but also see your best side?
I’ve often gotten compliments when it comes to first impressions from friends or for example meeting members of my boyfriend’s family, even in my daily work related meetings, face to face or by email. But this only really started in the last 1 or 2 years, as before I was not always making a good first impression. Even friends were telling me that they had a different idea of me when they first met me and that I actually turned out completely different once they get the know me. Looking back, I think I neglected how important it is to make a good first impression to begin with and didn’t completely understood how to do it.
So no matter who you are looking to make a good first impression with: Coworkers at your new job, charming your boyfriend’s parents or when meeting new friends, here are my personal guidelines that helped me and I hope they will ease up the process for you too:
Smile and be friendly – A smile goes a long way . Always keeping a smile on your face, as it’s such a nice way to present yourselves. You don’t need to overdo it but smile just enough to make your presence pleasant and to be nice to be around. Think of it as the image they will remember you as, with a kind smile on your face. I always make sure that I pay attention to the conversation and try to give my input in a nice and clear way without overdoing it or being so extremely nice that it becomes fake.
Dress code – In a society where everything is becoming more and more image obsessed, I believe that physical appearance is crucial for making a great first impression, especially in a work environment. But that doesn’t mean you need to always wear the newest trends or be as fashionable as all the bloggers you see on social media, but there are certain details that you can work with and that can help you a long way. For example when it comes to work attire, try not to dress with colours that are too evident such as pink, green, blue, orange or yellow. Making sure that you always dress appropriate for the right event is another good way to make a great first impression. Don’t wear a t-shirt and shorts at work or a suit when going out with friends in a casual setting. Our personal style is our own language that we can use to express ourselves so when attending an event or meeting new people ask yourself this: What does this outfit say about me? If you are looking for outfit ideas you can get inspired through my previous posts, for work HERE or casual style HERE.
White Blazer Dress HERE
Earrings (similar) HERE
White heels (similar) HERE
Body language – just as the dress code, body language is important. Body language and facial expressions says a lot about how you feel in that moment, if you are nervous, insecure or simply don’t want to be there. We should aim for confidence in yourself and to feel comfortable, that way people will also feel comfortable to be around you. I’ve had a lot of issue with my body language and facial expressions because I am the type of person that naturally show my feelings if I don’t like the environment or feel shy. Expressions and body language can be subtle and often misunderstood. One of my secrets is that I usually record videos of my outfits aside from the photos that I end up posting, but I am so shy and uncomfortable to speak in front of the camera and it is noticeable through my body language. So a big help for you if you have the time is to record yourself in a video to see your body language and try to spot what you can work on. Additionally while greeting new people, a firm handshake can go a long way, as businessinsider.com says: “a handshake is a fine art. You want to walk the line between a squeeze that comes across as incredibly tight and the dreaded limp fish.”
Think twice before saying something – It’s usually always best to think twice before saying something, but let’s face it: who’s got the time for that? However when meeting someone new, you may want to take the time and analyse what you are about to say, and how you are going to say it, because while people may seem friendly in the beginning, you don’t really know what they are actually thinking. For example, I am a very sarcastic person. I joke and make fun all the time which works great with people that already know me and understand my jokes, but if I use the same jokes with people that I just met, the reaction wouldn’t be the same. So while I think that is great to show your true personality, share your hobbies, find things you have in common and incorporate humour in a conversation, you should make sure you seize the moment and the right people.
Be memorable through being yourself – I am very much against changing who you are or what you believe in to make people like you, but when aiming for making a great first impression, the way you are expressing your beliefs matters a lot. I meet new people weekly, some I remember and feel like hanging out with again, and some I only remember when I see them again on the streets. So think about what makes you remember other people? Is there a smile, something from their personal style that caught your eye or is it because they were friendly or had a great sense of humour? You don’t need to be outrageous and over the top but I think it’s worth having something special about yourself that people can remember you by. This is especially important in a interview when competition is tough ..
It’s really easy for people to get the wrong impression about you, since first impression are usually formed in the first 10 seconds, but it’s not very hard to do your best and I hope that my personal advices will help guide you through the process.