You only have one chance to make a first impression. Why is this old adage true? As an article in the Harvard Business Review demonstrates, this is because first impressions are difficult to change. Psychologist, Phil McAleer, conducted a study, which revealed that even the first “hello” can determine whether or not someone finds you trustworthy. So, what are the three steps to making an amazing first impression? Here are some tips below:
Step One: Verbal introductions
After your “hello,” a “great to meet you” can go a long way. However, it’s also important to remember the name of the person to whom you’ve just been introduced. Business Insider has a great tip: if you have trouble remembering names, repeat their name during the introduction. For example, if someone says, “Hello, I’m Allison,” one can reply, “Nice to meet you, Allison. I’m Robert.” It shows you’re interested in the person and the conversation, and it will help you to remember that person’s name later.
Step Two: Body Language
Along with your verbal introduction, body language shows your interest in the interaction. Crossing your arms and not making eye contact can appear distant or aloof. On the other hand, if you smile, make eye contact, and extend your hand for a handshake, you are likely to get back the same response. As Business Insider also points out, people tend to mirror each other’s behavior.
Step Three: The “Presidential Secret”
Writing for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Bill Graham elaborates on what he calls the “Presidential Secret,” or, in other words, how to make the people you meet feel like the most important person in the room. He writes, “Think of making a connection as giving people your positive energy through eye contact and the way you shake hands. If you emit positive energy, you can change the emotional energy in the room…How you use your face, voice, and body can be a barrier that prevents you from making a connection with the other person. Show them an ‘open’ or caring face.” Making people feel like you care is a sure-fire way to make a good impression.
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