Make a Good First Impression
Written by Tess D'Orsi
August 6th 2018
First impressions are important. Like time, they are irretrievable. Making a good first impression is imperative to creating strong relationships. Though we would all love to believe we do not judge others, we naturally do. According to a survey of the members of the American Personnel Consultants, who are responsible for hiring employees or large companies, it was concluded that generally decisions to hire or not hire a person are made within 30 seconds of their initial meeting(1). So, how do we make these first 30 seconds count?
The statement that you make upon first interaction with somebody is largely based on what meets their eye. Though our physical features and attributes are largely out of our control, our presentation and grooming very much is within our own power. Depending on the occasion, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Do considerable research on the attire expectations and make sure you comply with such code. Clothing is a form of personal expression, so make sure it reflects well on your character and personality. Additionally, take pride in the small details regarding your appearance. Present a clean, professional, well kept persona with well-groomed features. The extra time spent in the morning will go a long way with your first impression.
Body language also plays a critical role in your first impression. Body language in and of itself is a communicator. According to James Borg, author of Body Language, human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paralinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves(2). Other scientists agree that body language makes up somewhere between 60-70 percent of communication. People are able to sense whether you are confident or timid based on the way you carry yourself despite what your actually speech may divulge. So, be sure to smile, make eye contact, and remain professional
Though body language proves important for first impressions, words are also a valuable tool in leaving a lasting impression. First and foremost, be sure to speak clearly with whomever you are meeting for the first time. Business Insider research has shown that those who speak in a slower, deeper voice are more likely so be taken seriously. Furthermore, set an intention for what you want the other person to take away from your interaction. What should they know about you? What is most important that you want them to remember? Be sure to get these points across. With this in mind, you also want to ensure that it is a two-way meeting. Do not only speak about yourself that your company cannot seem to get a word in. Show interest in what they have to say in order to make them feel as valued just as you would like to.
Whether or not you are aware, you are constantly making first impressions. They may be on strangers passing by or someone you are meeting for the first time, everyone remembers the first time they met you. Do your best to leave a positive lasting impression.