The first impression is not a stand-alone event. It takes input from two different factors: one is personality traits and the other is the personal approach to the second person.
In other words, even if you have a great personality, you still need a positive and trusting relationship to make a good impression on the approaching person. But how can you develop a positive relationship with a person even before you meet them (and hence before making the first good impression)?
You can –to some extent! (Read more in the second section of the article).
21 Tips How to Make a Good First Impression
We have collected this awesome compilation of 21 Tips on how to make a good first impression.
Here are the 21 tips to make a good first impression:
First, let us focus on developing a welcoming personality.
1. Be Punctual
This tactic of creating first impression can be both a personality factor as well as a person-to-person relationship builder. If you are a habitually punctual person, you will find that people will start respecting your time more.
At the same time, reaching at a meeting on time also signals that you are looking forward to the upcoming interaction. It shows your interest and commitment towards the person and agenda of the meeting.
In the end, it will soften the other person in your favor who will consider you as an ally.
2. Develop Confidence
If you are confident you can let go of worrying about hundreds of communication factors. These include your body language facial expressions and your involvement with yourself.
When you are confident, you also worry a lot less about others’ perception of your expressions; so you present your opinion assertively. In short, you worry less about the first impression you are creating.
Other than giving positive vibes to the expressions, confidence also portrays healthy self-love to recipients and fosters trust.
3. Dress up
One of the biggest investments in your personality is your wardrobe. A carefully selected and lovingly maintain treasure of outfits determines how people see you and welcome you.
Invest in event-related casual and professional outfits that are made to last longer. Although a few pieces of fast fashion will only give you a younger vibe, buying too many of them will signal a jovial and non-professional look.
4. Be Approachable
Confidence is quite a different trait than approachability. In fact, the presence of it makes the only difference between confidence and ego. There is a common misunderstanding among people that approachability depends more on their facial features rather than on things they can control.
Let me tell you this opinion is just an excuse to avoid owning the responsibility for our expressions.
In reality, the trait of approachability depends mostly on our ideology about the world and its residents.
If our world is our oyster, we are more open to meeting and greeting new people. On the other hand, if we are predisposed to bias and hatred, we present our aptly named resting bitch face to the world.
5. Do Voice Exercises
While working on our ability to creating lasting first impressions, we all fret about impressive body language (which is most often is a byproduct of self-confidence) but we rarely talk about voice control and presentation. It’s true even when our voice plays an important role in our conversations.
Yeah, appearance, posture, and dressing are cool indicators of a good impression. But how helpful these factors would be if your voice is only going to put off your audience?
Educate yourself on achieving a cool, calming, and impactful voice. Practice including emotions to your words using voice using changes in depth, pitch, and speed of speaking. Also practicing gaps in between words would also add credibility to your speech.
6. Work on Vocabulary
This is another most overlooked part of our personality. We invest in our physical appearance and our environment. But we forget that the first impression depends a lot on the intellectual capabilities of a person. And intellectual capabilities, in turn, express themselves most significantly through the words a person is using.
If your vocabulary is vast and you know the power of each word in inducing emotions among the listeners, you would not only create a great first impression rather your impression remains memorable and unique.
And yes, don’t forget to try practicing every word (aka emotion) with different vocal qualities to know which combination works best.
7. Respect Personal Space
Practice giving space according to the culture. In some cultures, people expect more personal space; while in other cultures, people expect closeness and warmth in interactions.
So, if you are in a cross-cultural meeting, understand the personal space expectations of other people before the event.
8. Focus on Giving
Cultivating a giving personality will not only help you win hearts in first meetings, but it will also allow you to reap life-long benefits of healthy relationships, wide-open business opportunities, and larger network.
The key is to start with a giving mindset. For example, given all these advantages, why would you nourish your giving side? If your honest answer is to gain benefits because of this trait, you are missing the whole point.
A giving personality is one where one commits to giving without worrying about the compensation they will get because of this trait.
All these outcomes of happier inter-human connections and memorable first impressions should come as a by-product.
9. Ditch Arrogance
Another personality factor that makes you unapproachable is arrogance. A combination of self-centeredness and lack of giving nature, this trait is a surefire way to deflect others away from you.
Fun fact: even those people who think they are down to earth are often dubbed as arrogant by their onlookers.
Why? It’s only because they often subconsciously compare others with themselves and judge others for others’ decisions and capabilities. In doing so, they not only harm their healthy self-esteem but also breed false ego and arrogance.
One way to ditch arrogance is by reminding yourself that everybody has a unique life, which translates into unique capabilities and approach towards life. This uniqueness means that you cannot compare yourself with others’ life choices (nor can you judge them).
Another method to suck at creating good first impression is to be self-absorbed. Fortunately, self-centeredness is not an inherited quality. It can be changed with practice and conscious intention.
The best antonym of self-centeredness is empathy. (And it’s a personality trait that will help you in all types of human to human interactions.)
Start by taking the perspective of others. How they are feeling in a certain condition? Feel their pain and their joy as if they are related to you.
This trait once practiced (from heart) will allow you to choose right words, expressions, body language impromptu in conversations hence improving people’s trust in you.
You can have all the empathy in the world but if this empathy is not propelling you to be genuine and caring to the person you are talking to, it isn’t going to help either of you.
When you are trying to build a charismatic personality always remember that charisma is always soul-deep. If it’s not soul-deep, it’s short-live.
This is the most prominent, and for some people, the most crucial feature that create first good impression. A recruiting agent claims that lack of complaining attitude (a byproduct of general happiness and satisfaction from life) is the only factor they use to screen out unproductive employees in the first round of interviews.
Sounds intriguing? But its impacts are significant.
If you are generally happy, you attract those events, people, and resources that support your happiness. In turn, you are able to create even more happiness for yourself and those around you.
Take away? People know that you will create and propagate happiness and they come near you.
Smiling is not just a byproduct of happiness! It’s also a signal of strength, confidence, and willingness to move forward.
Oh yeah! And I should not forget that physical health and mental calmness are also best presented with smile.
Lean on Your Relationship
We discussed in the earlier section of this article that there are two factors that create a memorable first impression on onlookers only and one of these factors is personality. The other factor lies in your relationship with that person.
For example, you can easily befriend your date which you have met online. Why does this happen? It’s because of the matching algorithm which sells you the idea that your date is a perfect option for you.
But how can you use the same mental tactic in a world without help from a dating site (think about the next business event you have to attend this weekend!).
You do this by knowing the person and creating your mindset about them. Here are a few tips which can help you build a great relationship with a person with whom you haven’t met yet.
14. Willingness to Help
To make a great first impression, start by gathering all the lessons we have discussed above. Let’s assume you are full of empathy, are authentic, and possess a general tendency to be a giver.
Now use all these gifts and think about the person (or group) you are about to meet.
- Identify their biggest (and relevant to your niche) issues- Empathy!
- Do you really want to help them? – Authenticity!
- How much help can you extend without worrying about the reward? – Giving attitude!
You don’t need to extend your help just yet. But this exercise will help you build the right approach towards the upcoming meetings.
Develop an understanding of the person. If you are preparing for a networking event, know what kind of people will attend that event. If it’s a familial gathering, understand the family connections to unfamiliar faces.
One to one meetings are easier to prepare for as you have to understand the interests of a single person.
To make a great first impression, you should build an understanding before you even meet that person. But, to create a lasting impression, you have to actively build this understanding throughout the meeting (and after its conclusion).
Use your skills of empathy to understand the person beyond superficial qualities of connection and status. Think about emotions for a better connection.
16. Yes versus No
This proven tactic of building first impression is a common psychological practice most salesmen use to entice their potential customers.
Accordingly, they start the conversation on a positive note leading the clients through such questions where they have no other answer but just yes. After several such questions, they introduce their product and these prospective clients mostly don’t muster enough courage to change the pattern of yes.
The same can be applied to our personal interactions. The more we keep our conversations on yes, the more memorable it will become.
Approach the meeting as a listener. Be mindful of how you are taking the person you would meet. Do you think that he (she) has a lot to offer in conversation? Or do you think you will be the primary source of all the fun and education?
The truth is both of these beliefs and approaches are detrimental to having a positive, fun, and/or result-inducing interaction and, thus, sabotage your first impression. If you really want to get the best from a meeting, know that both of you have unique and interesting approaches towards life (or matter under consideration). This way, you will not only not shy away from sharing your approach, but will also open-mindedly welcome their input.
Be an active listener! Know where you can add value to others’ comments. Most importantly, just don’t stay there thinking about your appropriate response instead pay attention to what they have to say.
One essential part of active listening is appreciating the right comments. But people most adored among their folks are those who know the art of appreciating others for their best qualities.
Know where your partner has put in extra effort in his life, appearance, or conversation. Notice this effort and comment on it.
19. Focus on the Person
I am compelled to write this tip again because of the important role it plays in creating a great first impression. If you really want to win the hearts of your audience, you need to keep the focus on them (and their needs and interests) and not on your intentions and goals.
Whether it is noticing positive attributes, making space for all the participants to talk, or finding goals; every effort should be focused on the person you are meeting.
20. Focus on Positive Attributes
There are two types of people in this world; ones who believe that all other people are uninterested in mutual cooperation and others who believe that people are generally kind-hearted and positive.
Research shows that the second set of people are more successful than the first one. The reason is obvious; the positive thinkers attract people towards them.
21. Focus on Similarities
This is another surefire way to bring people closer to you. If you look for similar interests with a person, you will certainly find one or two of such interest.
These similar interests would then pave the way for a healthy, thriving relationship.
There were 21 tips to make a good first impression. Some of these tips relate to the person you are meeting; while others relate to a presentable personality.
Here is a quick recap of How to Make a Good First Impression:
- Be Punctual
- Develop Confidence
- Dress up
- Be Approachable
- Do Voice Exercises
- Work on Vocabulary
- Respect Personal Space
- Focus on Giving
- Ditch Arrogance
Lean on Your Relationship
- Willingness to Help
- Yes versus No
- Focus on the Person
- Focus on Positive Attributes
- Focus on Similarities
On which of these tips you have already worked. Which ones of these need more attention from you?