The first hand shake, the first hello, the first moment of eye contact – all so exciting isn’t it? Some of us here on Earth absolutely dread meeting someone for the first time. They find it frightening, intimidating and it could lead to the feeling of being booted out of your comfort zone … so what makes for a great first impression? Try some of these tips to make your next first meeting a little less awkward and something, dare I say, to look forward to?
1. It’s your time to shine! You have a brief moment in time to make it appear to this person (or people) you’re meeting for the first time, like you have it ALL together. These people don’t know about your past, the tantrum you pulled this morning while picking out what to wear or your guilty pleasure of posing in front of a mirror pretending you’re on a magazine cover. Take this perfect chance to raise your stakes and even fake it til you make it if necessary. In this moment, you are a stable, smart, put-together individual … well hello, how do you do?
2. Follow your ‘put-togetherness’ with a firm, yet not too firm handshake. Handshakes are important. It invites the other person into your space welcoming them to get to know you. It also shows you have manners and are respectful — two qualities that are always attractive. Making physical contact with someone should never be taken lightly -– your handshake says a lot about you. The perfect balance between weak, firm and too firm translates into how confident you are. Decide what’s right for you and shake away.
3. Eye contact. There’s nothing like it. The eyes are said to be the window to the soul and they reveal the most about you. Some may find it hard to keep eye contact with someone they have just met for long. It sparks a note of vulnerability in you if you’re not backing eye contact with a load of confidence. Make sure you make contact, but don’t creep anyone out. The eyes seem to speak a language all on their own and you don’t want them saying something you didn’t mean for them to say.
4. Your facial expressions in a first meeting go a long way. Smile … a lot! Smiling makes you and the person you’re meeting feel much more comfortable about the whole thing. It softens any intimidation right away and lets the world know, you’re a happy person … or at least trying to be. Showing interest, surprise, and enthusiasm will only aid in making your first impression a lasting one. People will most likely remember they liked talking to you which makes for a fond memory.
5. Body language is equally as important as facial expressions. Stand up tall, keep your head high and shoulders down. This is a general stance of confidence. We really give a lot away about ourselves without saying a word so be mindful of how you carry yourself, position yourself, even how you walk – all of these are taken into account when someone first meets you. Poor posture and a droopy stance says “I don’t really care about this interaction” … people like to feel cared about.
There you have it. Simple things to keep in mind the next time you’re meeting someone. These will leave them marinating in your presence, and whether it’s a job interview, a blind date or meeting new friends, I have a hunch they’ll be looking forward to the next time they speak with you.