News in Central London & The City Region
Some tips to help you make the right first impression
Thu 19 January 2012
Making a good first impression is important in all walks of life – as humans we tend to make snap judgements about each other that can very often stick. Networking requires you to grab, hold and engage the attention of somebody you want to do business with. However, these skills need to be delicately balanced with coming across well to your audience.
You might be one of those people that always make a good first impression – lucky you – or you might be somebody that has to work hard to make sure you come across well on a first meeting. I’ve put some tips together that might ease the nerves and help those of you out there who want to prepare to make a good ‘first impression’.
Be in the right mood.
We’ll start with a very simple rule – if you’re having a bad day, consider staying at home! It sounds a little drastic, but unless you can pull yourself out of the bad mood, it will reflect badly on you. If you are angry, depressed or anxious it will be noticeable in your body language, facial expressions and sense of humour - others will pick up on it subconsciously.
To give a good first impression you need to be feeling yourself and relaxed. Try doing some breathing exercises or some yoga to put you in the right frame of mind.
Set an intention.
Setting an intention should be one of the first things you do before preparing to meet people for the first time. This is particularly relevant before any kind of big event where you would be meeting a lot of people — i.e. conferences, networking events or friend’s parties.
You need to think about what kind of people you are looking to engage with and what you want to get out of the meeting. It helps you to focus on what kind of energy you are going to approach the event with. This can be done literally minutes before you arrive, to get you in the right head space.
Think about your image and your accessories.
The clothes, make-up, jewellery, watches and shoes we choose to wear on a daily basis are all major indications of our personality to people we don’t know. Whether we like it or not – the lady who chooses to not wear any make up to a party is saying a lot about her character. For many men, they’re unaware that their watch can say a lot about them. For women, purses and large earrings or jewellery can also indicate a lot to a new person they are meeting.
Make sure that what you are wearing and how you do your hair or make-up says what you want it to say to the people you are meeting for the first time. What we wear to have dinner with close friends who know us well might be very different to what we wear when we want to say something about ourselves. It might be an idea to get some of your favourite outfits together and ask friends what they think of when they see them.
Last but by no means least – look interested and be interesting. We all know what it feels like to talk to somebody who so obviously doesn’t want to be there - the teenager that’s been forced to go their grandparents for lunch, or the employee that dreads the Christmas party every year or the husband that’s been dragged around the shops.