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How to make a good first impression

 Look at the person you're speaking to (Photo: Shutterstock)

When meeting new people, it isn’t uncommon to freeze and go blank as you struggle with what to say to a complete stranger. This somewhat awkward initial encounter may go right or wrong, depending on how you carry yourself.

Amidst the myriad of issues you may be entertaining in your head of what to say and what to wear, here is what you need to bear in mind.

1. Voice your opinion openly

When trying to impress, you can either say very little or nothing at all or, you might go overboard and say either too much to the point of being dishonest. A good starting point would be to chip in to the conversation giving your point of view as truthfully as possible. Avoid agreeing with everyone around you even when you’re the only one supporting your opinion. And, as you voice your opinion, try not to insult anyone.

2. Speaking confidently

Body language plays a big role in giving a good first impression. When speaking to new people, look at them instead of looking around you or drawing maps on the floor! If meeting new people makes you nervous and tongue-tied, practice speaking up and looking at people at home in front of the mirror. People tend to remember those who stood out and were confident in what they are saying.

 To impress, find out the setting and mood of your meeting and dress accordingly  (Photo: Shutterstock)

3. Avoid blowing your own trumpet

You want to ensure your new acquaintances remembers you and gets wowed.  However, if you begin to brag about this and the other, the person may feel like you're proud and narcissistic. When meeting someone for the first time, allow them speak about themselves more, ask them questions and have them share their experiences and achievements too.

3. Your image matters

The plain truth is that people judge you depending on how you look. The outfit you choose, the amount of make-up you apply and your poise say a lot about your personality. To impress, find out the setting and mood of your meeting and dress accordingly. Bear in mind the weather and your personal style too. You’re looking to show people who you really are and your outward appearance can go a long way in doing that.

4. If they don't reach out after the meeting, it's okay

Like any normal human being, you might leave the meeting expecting a follow-up call. However, if it doesn’t come don’t let it make you question your self-worth.

The person you were meeting is entitled to their opinion of you. If they don't call back, send an email thanking them for their time. Focus on the positives i.e. what you gained from that meeting and how you can improve next time. Remember that you might not be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay.

What are you currently worrying about?

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