What does it take to make a great first impression?

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Some people are so good at leaving a great first impression that you tend to envy them. Don’t you?

Since childhood we are taught this one thing — first impression is the last impression. Whether you are going for a blind date or a job interview, leaving a good first impression can make or break your chances of success. But the question is — what does it take to leave a great first impression??

According to, Whitney Johnson, the author of the book Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work — “human brain makes judgements in a nanosecond. And once made it is hard to change it.”

If we look at what science has to say on this, then we can get an even clearer picture on this matter. According to one of the researches carried out Amy Cuddy, a psychologist at the Harvard Business School, “ 80% to 90% of a first impression is based on brain’s response to these two questions — “Can I trust that this person has good intentions toward me?” and “Is this person capable?”

Amy further adds that , “A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you’ve achieved trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.”

Coming back to the question — What does it take to leave a great first impression? Or to be more precise — Can you train yourself for making a great first impression? The answer is a YES. And here are some tips that will help you with the same -

Don’t take the floor right away

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It happens quite option that in the excitement of making a great first impression we tend to screw things up. Just to show how knowledgeable we are, we don’t let the other person speaks. But that’s a pure sign of lack of confidence. It shows that we are too anxious about the talk to let the other person voice out his opinion.

However, this simple mistake can leave a bad impression on the other person. Instead of this what you can do is let the other person take lead in the conversation. Let the other person know that you are genuinely interested in listening to what they have to say. This simple step can go a long way in building trust and warmth in the meeting, and to make the other person feel understood.

Prepare before the meeting

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We do our preparation before going for an exam. Don’t we? Same is the case when we are going for a meeting with someone — be it for job interview, a business discussion or any other professional purpose. A great way to ensure that you tick all the boxes in the sheet to leaving a good impression is to practice what you are going to discuss in the meeting. If needed do a role play with a friend of yours.

In fact, it is always a good idea to jot down a couple of important points that you need to discuss in the meet. Prepare any doubts or questions, which you think the person at the other end might have related to the topics. And this will leave you in a positive and prepared frame of mind; killing down the nervousness and anxiousness to a large extent.

Let your actions do the talking

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Your body language can be the difference between making a great first impression and a forgettable one. When we talk about meetings and conversations, our gestures play a big role. Hand movements, facial expressions, body gestures — you can use all these aspects of body language in your favor, and leave a positive impression on the beholder.

Small actions like looking sitting upright, looking in the eyes when talking, talking at a constant pace — all these are the signs of confidence. And we all know that a confident speaker can easily gain the trust of the listener. So, practice these behaviors and they can prove to be your biggest strength, not just in making a first impression but leaving other people spellbound every time you meet them.

Be an active listener throughout

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‘The better you make the other person feel, the more they’ll be inclined to have a positive impression of you’ — that’s the most important secret of leaving an everlasting impression.

By being an active listener, you are inculcating a number of positives in your personality. First of all, you are making the other person feel valued, which is the rule of the thumb of a good conversation.

Secondly, you are giving your brain ample amount of time to react and then respond rather than blabbering the first thing that comes to mouth. Most important of all, active listening empowers you to create a meaningful and engaging conversation, which the other person is definitely going to be impressed with.

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Vartika Kashyap currently runs the marketing team at ProofHub — a project management software for teams of all sizes. She is a seasoned marketing professional who is an expert in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. She’s been featured among LinkedIn’s Top Voices for the year 2016. Connect with Vartika on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.

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Originally published at LinkedIn

Written by

Chief Marketing Officer@ProofHub. Featured writer on LinkedIn. Contributor at Elearning Industry, Dzone, Your Story and Business.com.

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