Get The Fundamentals Right


 Get The Fundamentals Right

There is an old and often ignored truth in life – you only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s why it always pays to get the fundamentals right: your smile and greeting, your handshake, and especially your dress code. All of these things will allow you to make a powerful first impression on everyone you meet.

But that’s not all! There are lots of other ways to make the most of this critical moment, from how you introduce yourself to the way you shake hands or employ eye contact. This can really make the difference between a good first impression and a great one.

1. Smile and Greet Like You Mean It
People are attracted to other people who make them feel comfortable, happy and safe. That’s why smile-first is important for you both when you meet someone for the first time, and on every subsequent meeting. Showing genuine good humour is known as being ‘genuinely happy’. Smiling from the heart comes with energy, warmth and positive vibes - it's a natural reaction that lets people know you’re human!

2. Shake Their Hand Like You Mean It

Make sure you show enthusiasm in your handshake. As well as being confident, shake hands firmly and vigorously - after all, it’s an instant test of your character so you need to stand out from the crowd. If you are male, take hold of the other person’s hand a little longer than normal to show that you mean business. Then let go immediately if they do - this shows confidence and a sense of humour.

3. Don’t Ignore Personal Appearance

Appearance is important because it tells people a great deal about you. Therefore, always dress to impress. Your dress code can say a lot about the kind of person you are - and make sure that it says the right things! If you wear smart casual, ensure that your clothes fit well (they shouldn’t be too tight, nor should they look too loose) and are clean and ironed. What impressions do your clothes give? This is your chance to show them through the way you dress.

4. Avoid Skimping on Eye Contact

If you’re meeting someone for the first time, it’s important to be in control of the situation so make note of their appearance and mannerisms – not just what they are saying. This is a chance to show them that you know how to listen and how to look someone in the eye without staring at them. In fact, you may need to look away from time to time yourself so that you don’t appear awkward or nervous. The key is not staring too intently at each other but maintaining eye contact by making small head movements instead.

5. Be Confident and Open

You’ve practised your greeting, your handshake and making eye contact, now it’s time to show them you have confidence in yourself. Your key message should be the same message that you would like them to receive about yourself - this means giving off a sense of confidence. Showing confidence in one’s appearance can also help to win people over. Try some clothes which flatter your figure, a new hairstyle or a new hairstyle with a different colour - anything which will make you feel good about yourself!

6. Know Who You Are

Before you meet someone for the first time, it’s important to know who you are and what you stand for. If you already share a mutual friend or colleague, this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and to make sure that both of you get the most from your meeting. Look them up in your phone and find out what they do, who their friends are and where they live. Make notes about the evening so that you can look back on what happened and plan your next steps - these will help build rapport with them!

7. Don’t Say Too Much

It’s important to strike the right balance between speaking and listening. If they tell you something that interests you, it’s a great idea to ask them questions about it. This will allow you to find out more and will make sure that you are both getting the most out of your conversation. However, if they are talking too much, it’s a good idea to take some notes so that you can refer back to them later. This will show that you are listening and means that – if they do talk for long – you have time to write them down before your brain forgets what he or she said!

8. Don’t Be Too Complicated

Remember your goal for the evening - to make a good first impression and establish contact. This doesn’t mean that you can’t show that you’re aware of how long you have been waiting for them, but don’t try too hard or be too conversational. There is no need to be too ‘broad or company-y’ in a first meeting though so don't forget that there are other ways in which you can show your enthusiasm such as using the eyes, gestures, and even smiling.

9. Move it Along

Use small talk not only to find out about the person you’re meeting, but also to make your exit – and do it as soon as you can! Once you’ve introduced yourself, get straight into talking about a mutual friend or colleague - this is a great way to both take control of the situation and also to start up a conversation. If they are talking about themselves for too long, then try using some open questions (what do you think?; what does this mean?). If they keep on speaking without giving you time to reply, then show them that you are listening by asking them if what they say is true.



Remember, this is a short introduction conversation you’re having with the person you’ve just met. That’s why it’s important not to judge them right away. If they are meeting you for the first time, pay attention to their mannerisms, appearance and their body language - if they don’t fit the bill then it would be better to find out more about them before deciding how well they will get on with you! Don't be afraid to put your own feelings aside and try not to let any judgements creep into your conversation.

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