You only get one first impression! That first impression can influence how people view you from that moment forward. It can be hard to get a negative first impression out of someone’s head so you have to make it count.
That’s not to say that you can’t change their impression of you, but it’s harder than just making a good first impression to begin with. For example, my first impression of my husband was that he was an ego-centric jerk. I didn’t like him, and it took years of us working together and casually hanging out with mutual friends for me to see him for the loving and compassionate guy he is. I held onto that first impression like glue and I still remember it to this day!
So take your first impression seriously whether you are trying to impress someone or not. You want to make it a good one!
Don’t Make a Lot of Gestures
If you want to send a message of being in control, focused, and confident then don’t run into a room waving your arms and tapping your feet. That sends a message that you are scatter brained and unsure of yourself, and you will turn a lot of people off and make them uncomfortable by doing this.
Walk into a room with your head held high and move your body in a controlled and relaxed manner. This will send the message that you are confident and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. People will feel more comfortable around you and look to you as a leader and someone they want to get to know.
Hold Yourself High
Don’t walk into a room slumped over with your eyes focused on the ground. This sends the message that you are unsure of yourself and where you stand in life.
I know a guy who is highly intellectual and can carry a conversation with anyone, but he always enters the room with his head down and shoulders slumped. He sends off a message of despair and low self-confidence, and to this day he is single and unemployed!
Pull back your shoulders, hold you head up high, and make your first impression send the message that you are here to win and people should want to get to know you, and people will want to get to know you!
Maintain Eye Contact
If someone talks to you then look them in the eye. If you are shifty with your eye contact then you are sending one of two messages, either that you don’t care about them or that you are highly distracted. Both of those messages are not going leave a good first impression and win over people in your life.
If you maintain eye contact you show interest in that person. People love it when you show them interest! You will remain in their head as someone who was attentive and interested in what they had to say, and that will always be a good first impression.
Carry an Appropriate Conversation
Just as with eye contact you have to maintain an appropriate conversation; if you don’t you can come across as un-interested or not interesting. Think of someone who doesn’t talk at all or talks to much when you talk to them. Chances are they are not someone who you want to have many conversations with.
Respond when appropriate and keep the conversation balanced between you and the person, or people, you are talking to. If you dominate the conversation you will seem pushy and arrogant and if you don’t speak at all you will seem boring and uninterested. Find a happy medium.