A lot of women grapple with self-doubt and feel like they cannot find the voice and confidence to present the best of themselves to the world. This can keep them from making a great first impression. Dipika Singh, founder of SheMeansBusiness, experiential learning expert, and former Marketing DGM is here to help you make a lasting impression from the get-go.
It is believed that most people form impressions within 10 seconds of seeing you. Much of that has to do with the signals you give out with your posture, body language, clothes, neatness, and more. While it might seem a little unfair, there is a certain logic to this. How you present your body and your self says a lot about who you are. It can reflect your confidence, attitude, friendliness, and competency.
Did you know that taking one look at you can help someone understand how much you value the interaction you are having with them at that very moment?
Be ready to create a brilliant first impression by asking yourself these questions, and avoiding the simple faux pas of first meets.
Is Your Posture Off?
Body language plays an important role in how people perceive you. Depending on how you sit, people might think of you as confident or untrustworthy! When trying to make a great first impression, just the way you walk into a room can command attention and make you memorable. This plays an important role in projecting confidence and power.
Make sure that your posture is working for you, and not against! Look confident.
This means a straight back, squared shoulders, and the stomach tucked in.
This makes you look ready to take on any conversation. People look forward to positive, confident conversations with someone who sits straight and seems approachable!
Are You Judging People?
Keeping an open mind while meeting people is one of the most important parts of any interaction. If you come into a conversation with preconceived notions and prejudices, it can reflect in the way you behave.
Keep an open mind when you meet people.
The minute you start judging people it makes you less receptive, open and empathetic. Being judged is never a pleasant feeling, and you should remember that the next time you’re meeting someone who challenges the way you view the world. Take a chance, be curious, and ready to learn more about people.
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What Do Your Clothes Say?
You might remember Steve Jobs with his black turtleneck or Mark Zuckerberg with his grey t-shirt. Princess Diana made ripples in history with her clothing choices, and the same can be said about amazing women leading in their industries like Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham, Mira Kulkarni, Roohi Oomerbhoy Jaikishan, and more.
Clothes say a lot about you as a person and are an inseparable part of the first impression you give to other people.
You need to put effort into dressing for the occasion. Choose your clothes according to the personal aspirations you want to project. It is ok to be casually dressed for an occasion that calls for that, for example, a relaxed outing with colleagues. However, remember to dress sharply for a work meeting or lunch with a client.
Work towards understanding and developing your unique personal style, which you can then adapt to different situations.
Dressing well does not mean blindly copying a certain style. Find out what allows your personality to shine forth. Make sure that you dress up as you would for an offline meeting, even when you’re meeting new people online. Leave the pajamas for the memes!
How Neat Are You?
Presentation is always important, where it is of a ppt or of yourself! Your neatness plays an integral role in how people perceive you and how much they’re willing to trust you. If you are working to expand your business network, you should remember that small things like your shoes, the condition of your nails, and how unkempt your hair looks can create a lasting impact.
When you reach for an interview or meeting, always find out where the washroom is and take a few minutes to tidy yourself.
At any given point of time, ensure that you are looking sharp, neat, clean and well put together. Practice this even when you do not plan on meeting people professionally. This will ensure that after a point, looking neat and impressive becomes second nature to you.
Have You Been Positive Today?
While using your body to create a good impression is critical, your demeanour and behaviour are also important for network retention. If you are meeting work colleagues, business partners, or even bosses, your positivity can play an important role in your future and success. Your attitude towards life also has a big role in how you walk away from interactions!
Always take every interaction positively. Look at it as a way to learn new things from new people.
This does not mean that you have to force yourself to be nice or positive in an unpleasant situation, or that you have to allow people to get away with inappropriate behaviour. Those exceptions aside, however, it will always work in your favour if you go into situations with a can-do attitude.
If you want to be more likable and memorable, you should fundamentally look at every person you meet and every interaction you have (including interviews) with an honest interest. This will help you approach your first impression positively.
Are You Being Your Authentic Self?
Be authentic in what you say and do. Often when we meet new people and feel the pressure to impress them, we try to embellish. This can happen verbally or physically. You should make sure that when you’re making new contacts, you’re being the best version of your true self.
Speak your truth, but do so with tact, so you don’t hurt other people’s feelings. If you don’t know something, say so.
Don’t promise more than you can deliver. If you’d rather not share something, feel free to admit that you’re not comfortable. Authenticity is also about knowing and respecting your boundaries.
It is important to understand that a good first impression is not always enough. You also have to make sure that you are creating a long-lasting impression. This is the way to create a loyal network that promises to fit your needs! You have to stay consistent throughout.
What’s The Situation With Your Eye Contact?
Many people wonder if eye contact is as important as online blogs state it is. I am here to tell you that it is more important! Many people do not look into others’ eyes while speaking to them. This portrays an under-confident demeanour which might affect the quality of your interactions. When you are meeting new people, it always creates a positive impression when you look into their eyes. This also makes the other person feel that you are being genuine, and are actually interested in the conversation!
Remember to make eye contact. Even online!
When you are meeting new people online, it becomes more important to establish a connection as you are separated by a screen. Eye contact can play an important role in this. Alternate between looking at the faces on the screen and looking at the lens. When you look at the lens it seems like you are looking directly at the people you are talking to. This is a great tip to create strong impressions while giving online interviews as well!
Can You Maintain Professionalism Online?
The world is online now and in this new age of cyber-networking, it becomes more important to create positive but strong impressions with a more limited toolbox! Maintaining professionalism is one of the most important points of being memorable. Remember to always dress well, be neat, and not eat or drink during an online meeting. It is not only annoying to the other participants, it also belies your professionalism.
How you speak also has a big impact on people. Never use slang during a professional interaction!
If you must use humor, keep it strictly general and do not get into political or religious humor. This can cause tension and make the interaction go sour. Another important thing to remember is to not talk over people in professional meetings. If you work predominantly on your PC or laptop, you should think about investing in a good quality mic and webcam as well!
Guarantee that your first impression is lasting and positive by making sure that you use positive body language, be open to people’s thoughts and opinions, and smile.
When you seem like you are well put-together, you will often come across as responsible and pleasant. To top it off, remember that your own comfort can change your behavior in subtle and indescribable ways. Make sure you are comfortable, relaxed, and feel good about how you are looking.
Top the meeting off with some solid eye contact and you are good to go!
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