At a time of year when many of us are making a new start … new term, new university, new job or just turning over a new leaf it seems like a good time to talk about making that great first impression.
We all make sweeping assumptions about others based on the way they look and sound … and others are doing exactly the same to us!
So what can you do to make sure that the impression others have of you is as good as it can be?
I’ve talked before about how the way you look may not be a reflection of how you feel but, more often than not, it can show others EXACTLY how you feel, particularly when you’re nervous.
So the first thing you can do is to stand well; shoulders slightly back, spine straight and looking ahead. You look more alert and capable when you stand or sit upright.
Secondly, make sure you make eye contact with the person or people you are talking to – if you look down it may be because you are shy but you will look shifty … not the best first impression you can make!
And thirdly look pleased to be there! Even if you’re not … think of something that makes you happy so it’s a real smile and you look like you want to contribute!
One thing that lots of people forget is to be aware of other’s personal space and to take the cue from them. Some are just uncomfortable when you invade their space but for others it can be very threatening and to be honest, standing or sitting too close can mean others just have you down as creepy!
Finally think about your handshake – it can be a deal breaker … in every sense of the word. A limp handshake will affect your impact for months or even years to come, while a knuckle breaker can give you the reputation of a bully that you are completely oblivious of!
If you would like to know exactly how to make an amazing first impression then why not treat yourself (or the young person in your life about to embark on their career or higher education) to our first impressions video programme at just £19.99 + vat.
It may be unfair that people don’t take the time to get to know you when you first meet but a first impression can last a lifetime, so be careful that its one you want to keep.