MASTER YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION
We have heard the term many times that first impressions are important and that you don’t get a second chance to make one. Studies show that first impressions are made within the first 17 seconds of meeting someone new. Fifty-five percent of that impression is based off of appearance, seven percent is based on the words used and 38 percent is based on tone of voice. This means that before we even get sufficient time to demonstrate our abilities, the first impression is already cast.
We are all guilty of making judgements of people based on their appearance, how they conduct themselves and the language that they use. The first impressions that we make are often irreversible, so it is paramount to ensure the first impression that you are presenting is a positive one. Looks are not everything, but it is important to take pride in your appearance especially when you are wanting to make a great first impression!
Think about how you want to be perceived. Do you want people to see you as reliable, a go-getter, professional, confident? The way that you hold and present yourself can drastically improve the first impression.
You don’t need to be genetically blessed to look good, there are some simple things that you can do to make sure your first impression is a positive one.
- Take pride in your appearance. They say that you should dress for the job that you want to have. Make sure your work wardrobe is neat, tidy, clean and appropriate for your position. If you are attending a meeting, remember that you are representing your company as well as yourself – remember the small details like putting your heels on, a tie or jacket.
- Tame your look!Your wardrobe may be on point but if you have a sloppy or shaggy hairstyle or no makeup on it really drags down the impression that you are trying to portray. Make sure your hair cut is kept up to date, keep a brush handy, and ensure that your makeup is appropriate for the office – not a pageant or nightclub. A quick bathroom stop to check your look or freshen up before meetings will be well worth the 5 minute pitt stop!
- Firm handshake. No one likes shaking hands with a limp hand. There is a fine line between a firm handshake and cutting off the blood circulation to someone else’s hand. When shaking hands use this as an opportunity to introduce yourself, you don’t need to shake the other persons arm off, but long enough to look them in the eye and start the conversation. Remember to also shake the persons hand at the end of the meeting and thank them.
- Smiling is contagious, it also makes people feel more at ease and comfortable in your presence. A friendly face can go a long way and it doesn’t take much effort to put a smile on your dial.
- Excellent posture can exude confidence. Things like sitting or standing up straight, crossing your legs if seated, shoulders back, elbows off tables etc, these are all things to keep in mind when you are wanting to create a great first impression.
The little things can have a huge impact on the first impression that people make of you. No one expects you to look like a supermodel, but you do need to look strong, capable, clean and confident. If you’re lacking in any of those areas, it’s time to get to work!