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December 2, 2014

The recipe for a good first impression

When introducing yourself for the first time, it´s already determined after a few seconds if your cooperation is going to be great or a disaster.

Unconsciously we are all having an opinion about everything and everybody and this happens within a blink of an eye.

This might lead to a stereotypical way of thinking and even before we´re starting a conversation we have decided if we like somebody and want to get to know him/her or not.

To make a good first impression there are certain ingredients you should always remember when you introduce yourself for the first time to a new client, during an interview or at a business-event.

Rezepte

Body language, clothing, gestures and facial expressions are the most important parts for a successful first impression:

An extra dose of handshake

– It´s the first personal interaction and beginning of your conversation vis-à-vis. People with a firm handshake are usually linked to a successful and responsible position. It demonstrates self-confidence and has a positive effect. A “weak” handshake creates the impression that you are introverted and shy. Unfortunately it is still stereotypical for women. That is why you should make a statement at the beginning to get the right attention.

A pinch of eye contact

– This is a big one but not a lot of people really acknowledge the importance of eye contact. Looking straight into the eyes demonstrates self-confidence and shows the person you are talking to that you are genuinely interested in the conversation. If you add an open smile that is shown in your eyes (a “smize”) to that you are taking a big step towards make a perfect first impression. A nice smile and friendly eye contact make you immediately more likeable.

A good portion of language

– Our voice, pronunciation and choice of words are a mirror of our personality. We immediately like people with a deep and calm voice. In contrast people with a high and hectic voice seem insecure and sometimes even incompetent.

You should choose your words wisely and take a deep breath before you talk too much nonsense. Practice talking or presenting in front of your friends or family, who can give you  helpful tips and improve your appearance. 

Garnish with clothing

Our choice of clothing has a big impact on our appearance. The more we have in common with the person we are meeting with, the more he or she might find us likeable. Your meeting partner might feel provoked if you´re underdressed and that could lead to a bad first impression and nobody should risk that.

Therefore, it´s important to be dressed the right way. Take a look at the company’s website and check if they have a dress code (e.g. pictures of the team) that might give you a hint. 

How can you remember these tips, be super relaxed and natural all at once?

Just remember: Don´t think too much! No one is born a master and even the most charming people had wobbly knees during their first meetings. Just mix up all the ingredients, add a pinch of patience and you’re set!

Foto: Andrea GohCC BY 2.0

Nora Bedbur