How to Give a Great First Impression

Darryl Bachmeier
Jul 4, 2020

The first few minutes of a first time meeting are more powerful towards shaping the future of a relationship than you can ever imagine. Within the first 30 to 60 seconds of meeting a person, people can begin to judge and tell if they like them or not.

There will only be one first time meeting, meaning you have only one chance at making that first impression. From the scenarios of job interviews, meeting a prospective client to starting up a new job, you will need to be at your best to ensure that you start up on the right note. This includes your use of vocabulary, your demeanor and even body language. This short period of assessment needs to be packed with a lot of statement if you are to leave a lasting positive impression on the other party.

First impressions are easy to form but quite hard to change. Starting off on the right foot puts you at an advantage. People generally give the benefit of doubt to those who have made a great first impression on them. A great first impression can land you a business deal or a lifelong marital partner. The benefits are enticing, only that a lot of people think that they just aren’t good at making first impressions.

The human mind is naturally conditioned to think no one will like you, especially when you find yourself in a new environment. Adopting such a mindset is just one of the many ways of not making a great first impression. It is only more beneficial to make a commitment to understand how to make people like you.

The good news is that the art of making a great first impression can be learned. There are a few little things that should be put in place to see a great result.

Don’t be stingy with the spotlight

In the quest to make a great first impression, one may go the extra mile to paint themselves in good light. This is great, only that the chance of missing the bull’s eye is high. When trying to show just how smart you are, you may end up hindering the other person from speaking their mind on the topic. This can present a picture of a self-absorbed individual or one who isn’t confident enough to allow another party disagree with them. Allow people in the other party lead the conversation then participate actively. Show genuine interest in what is being said and make your contributions.

Get your points ready

In the case that the topic for the meeting is already planned, it is better you enter fully prepared. Research will be necessary at this point, because it will help you know some of the topics that interest the other person and chip in a little of it as you converse. The chosen points should be well prepared in such a way that it highlights your strong points. With your points ready, allow the conversation flow organically. Don’t forcefully insert topics when they have nothing to do with what is being discussed.

Keep your body language in check

Your body language says a lot more about you than you know. It can expose nervousness during a first time meeting even when you have done everything in your power to create a façade of confidence. First start by dealing with the nervousness in your mind, that constant reminder that no one wants to hear you speak. With that out of the way, keeping your body language in check becomes easier.

Stand tall and keep your head straight. A powerful pose will go a long way in portraying confidence. Try speaking to a mirror before you leave the house. Do this a number of times until you are comfortable with your presentation style.

Be mindful of your fashion

A popular quote goes, ‘How you dress is how you will be addressed’. People walk into places and begin to wonder why they aren’t accorded the respect they deserve. Unknown to them, they haven’t dressed the part. Your fashion sense speaks of your brand when you first walk into a room. People are quick to size you up when you walk in, and before you say as much as one word, they start to reach a conclusion from your dressing. Learn to make a quick statement with your dressing either by incorporating a unique sense of colour combination or a memorable clothing accessory that isn’t too loud.

Arrive on time

The importance of punctuality in making a great first impression cannot be overemphasized. Lateness only causes people to start creating an impression of you even in your absence. Arriving early gives you enough time to relax and get acclimatized to the environment. Being in a hurry to get somewhere and beat the start-up time only ends up leaving you disoriented and slightly confused. Obviously, it will be quite impossible to make a good first impression when you arrive at a venue in a disheveled state.

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