First impressions matter because they set the tone for an entire relationship. Some first impressions still matter years after an initial meeting. Making a strong first impression will create a positive image that is hard to dismiss. Doing this requires some planning and careful attention to detail. Four tips will help to make a strong first impression.
Present Confident Body Language
It is important to maintain confident body language. Actions like slouching, lowering the shoulders and shaking a leg or hand constantly show a lack of confidence. Folding the arms during a first meeting shows defensiveness. Eye contact should be maintained as much as possible. Looking away, looking down or constantly darting the eyes around a room will express doubt and nervousness. Confident body language can make a strong statement that will last.
Choose Clothes and Accessories Carefully
Clothes and accessories will determine a large part of a first impression. It is important to dress appropriately. It is best to lean towards overly formal clothes when in doubt. The clothes should be freshly cleaned and free from wrinkles, stains or tears. Accessories should be chosen carefully. Both men and women should avoid wearing too much jewelry. It is good to choose items like watches or bracelets that add to the appearance of the outfit without becoming a distraction. Lapel pins or other highly visible accessories should have a professional appearance.
Maintain a Healthy Smile
Healthy teeth and gums are very important when trying to make a strong first impression. Teeth should be kept clean and as bright as possible. Taking care of the gums is equally important. Periodontal diseases can cause permanent tooth discoloration, tooth decay and chronic bad breath other people will notice. Visiting a Colorado Springs Periodontist in the months or weeks before an important meeting can help to resolve or mitigate some problems with the gums. A healthy smile is essential because the teeth and gums are highly visible when speaking.
Listen Before Speaking
It is important to avoid speaking right away after meeting a person especially during a job interview. Entering the room speaking creates a poor first impression. It is better to listen and hear what the other person is saying before speaking. Responses should be focused on what was just said. Engaging the other person in a relevant conversation without interrupting or straying off topic will create a strong first impression.
Making a strong first impression also means not going to extremes. It is possible to be overbearing and too confident. It is also possible to listen too much. This can make conversations uninteresting or awkward. Every effort should be made to avoid extreme dress and behaviors.