Advice for Students

10 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression

April 11, 2018  |     |   0 Comment

It only takes five seconds to make a first impression. The people we meet quickly determine through their perception of us whether they like us, trust us, and want to do business with us. Implementing the following 10 tips in business situations when you are meeting someone for the first time will help you to make a positive first impression:


1. Manage Your Image.  Communication experts believe that 55% of the total message presented by a person during a first meeting consists of their personal appearance. How we dress does have an impact on people’s perception of us. People respond to and give more respect to those who are dressed professionally.

2. Project a Strong Professional Presence.  Professional presence is a necessary life, business and leadership skill. It broadcasts who you are and determines how you are seen, heard and respected by others. It impacts other first impressions of you and opens the door to allow others to discover and appreciate your innate skills.

3. Be Aware of Your Posture. Good posture instantly creates an impression of confidence and for others to see you as such!

4. Smile. The best way to make others comfortable and at ease when you first meet them is by giving them a genuine smile. It helps to create a friendly environment which encourages conversation.

5. Introduce Yourself to Others.  Never wait to be introduced. Take the initiative. It is how you make your presence known and demonstrate to others that you are engaging, personable and care.

6. Master Your Handshake. A handshake is the physical greeting that goes with our words.  When you introduce yourself to another person or are responding to an introduction, have a firm-but-friendly handshake. Firm handshakes are a sign of confidence, credibility and professionalism.

7. Make Direct Eye Contact. Direct eye contact is very important in the business arena because it tells the other person that you are listening to them, and it actually makes you a better listener. In addition, it makes the person with whom you are speaking feel that they are important, valued and heard.

8. Let Your People Skills Shine Through.  Let the other person be the center of attention. Ask them questions about themselves.  By doing so, you will demonstrate that you are interested in others and what they have to say.  Once the conversation has finished, they will leave thinking that you were a very attentive, gracious and good conversationalist.

9. Always Close a Conversation. Never end a conversation without saying “thank you” or “it was a pleasure to meet you.”  Ending a conversation graciously and professionally with another person will leave a positive impression.

10. Follow Up. Honour any promises you have made to a new contact during a conversation, such as connecting with them for coffee to learn more about their business, or promising to send a great article via email.  If someone has taken you out for a business lunch or provided a random act of kindness, send them a “thank you” email along with a handwritten “thank you” card. By doing so, you will enhance your credibility and opportunity to continue to build upon that professional relationship.

Implementing these 10 tips in business situations when you are meeting someone for the first time will help you to always leave a positive first – and lasting – impression, all which will open the door to building stronger and more successful relationships.

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