How To Make a Great First Impression
Whether it’s a job interview or just meeting someone new, making a great first impression can make a huge difference in how your future plays out. So how do you make that first meeting memorable? What is it that will make the other person want to continue the relationship?
Here are five things you can do with your body language to make a good first impression:
Maintain an open posture. Open postures are generally perceived as positive, so to make a good first impression, stand or sit up straight with your hands at your sides or on the arms of your chair. Make sure to face the people you are meeting directly, and keep your arms and legs uncrossed. If you’re meeting over a video conferencing platform or Facetime, make sure to sit up straight and give eye contact while you or the other person is speaking. This also means choosing the right background – clean is good but bare walls is bad as it gives the other party nothing to connect with.
Don’t jump right to business.
Small talk is what builds rapport. It is the gel that connects people and allows others to trust you. Remember, you can always email a proposal later so use the time on video to get to know the person and their needs.
Smiling shows you enjoy people and are glad to meet them; people who smile are seen as kinder and warmer as well. Smiling when you meet people is powerful, too. Some research suggests that people’s smile is one the most memorable things about meeting them in personal and professional relationships. However, make sure your smile is sincere.
Get yourself in a positive mindset.
We all prefer in-person meetings to video, but, video does have many other advantages (cost and time being two of the biggest) so it’s here to stay. To take the most advantage of video calls, it requires a positive mindset. To help this along, before a meeting, do an activity you enjoy such as going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, etc.
Always have an agenda and questions prepared.
An agenda gives an impression of someone being organized and helps to keep the meetings on track (so that you have more time for the personal rapport building at the beginning!) and the questions help to make sure your mindset is not one of talking the entire time but instead engaging the other side.
People will look you up on LinkedIn, and other places, before you speak for the first time so make sure you have a strong online presence. Considering a few posts and articles, in addition to the minimums of having a good picture, complete bio, etc. And, equally, make sure to look up whoever you are going to speak with – this will help to give you context: what school they went to, how long they have been at the company, etc.
This guest post was authored by Andres Lares
Andres is the Managing Partner at SNI. He previously served the role of Chief Innovation Officer. His multi-disciplinary and lingual skills broaden SNI’s ability to effectively teach and consult in a wide range of industries, languages, and cultures.
Andres’ expertise is in deal coaching live negotiations for sports clients such as the San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns, Milwaukee Brewers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Brooklyn Nets. He also works in several capacities with clients across a wide range of industries