I read that it takes about 7 seconds to make a first impression and over 2 hours to change it. If that is true, when networking, that first impression can be very lasting and make the difference between whether you create a new relationship or meet someone that forms an unfavorable opinion about you in the blink of eye. Here are a few tips that will help you to make a positive lasting first impression.
- Dress appropriately and professionally. As much as we would like to believe that a book is not judged by its cover, often times this is not true. When you are out in public, make sure you are not wearing clothes that look like you are going to the gym or just woke up.
- Be on time for meetings and networking events. Being late rarely makes for a positive impression.
- Have a firm handshake. Clammy sweaty palms tell someone you are nervous and this is not the best way to start a new relationship. Your handshake tells a lot about you.
- Remember to smile in a genuine way with the people you meet and make eye contact. Smiles can put someone at ease quickly and are always welcome.
- Body language speaks volumes. Use your body language to project confidence and self-assurance. This will put the people you meet at ease and help you to make a positive first impression.
- Don’t give out your business card unless you are asked for it. Often times, when meeting someone, people will offer to give away a business card. Hold back until you are asked but don’t hesitate to ask for someone’s card if you are genuinely interested in learning more about this person.
- Use the person’s name that you are talking to. When you meet someone new, do your best to use their name in conversation to help you remember it and to make your new acquaintance feel important.
- Be courteous and attentive when speaking with someone. This usually goes without saying but when you are polite, pay a genuine compliment and are actively listening, the first impression you leave behind is usually a positive one.
- Small talk is big. Keep up with the news and current events and talk intelligently about subjects that are current and interesting.
- Ask questions of the person you are speaking with. People love to talk about themselves. You don’t need to say much to make a good impression. Being a good listener is one of the most important traits a person can possess.
In summary, it is not that hard to leave a positive first impression behind but it is much easier to leave one that is negative. That is why it is so important to pay attention to how others perceive you. Pay attention to the details and imagine that you are being judged by someone else. If you feel you would leave a great impression behind, then you are way ahead of the game. If not, try some of the tips in this article and then decide. Remember, first impressions are lasting. Make yours one that will be remembered with a smile and in a positive light.
Rhonda L Sher: The Sloganator Rhonda L Sher was born talking. She fell in love with words as a child and has never stopped communicating since. Her father once commented that she was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Not only has Rhonda inherited her father's humor, but it's that quick wit that has become the signature that has helped propel her clients to stardom.Acclaimed Keynote and workshop leader, Rhonda has authored two books, "The 2 Minute Networker" and "The ABC's of LinkedIn," "Get LinkedIn or Get Left Out" as well as numerous action guides, articles, workbooks, jingles and corporate slogans.
In addition to writing, Rhonda uses her gift of gab as a featured keynote speaker, consultant and corporate trainer throughout North America. She has successfully taught hundreds of business men and women on the art of business networking and written hundreds of elevator pitches and slogans.Rhonda's greatest talent lies in her ability to create fabulously catchy slogans that are memorable, upbeat, easy to repeat and create instant brand identification. In addition to the books, audio and video, Rhonda creates slogans and taglines for her clients which are memorable, bring them business and make them, money. She works with you to create a corporate slogan for your business that sets you apart from your competition. Her creativity and energy will tap into your customer's mind and have your phone ringing off the hook with new business.
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