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First impressions: how to make ones that last

You will never be able to do a first impression over so it is important that it is good and positive. Research shows that people make a judgement about a person in the first seven seconds of meeting them. This is why it is important to know that even if you do not speak to someone; how you carry yourself and the way you dress will contribute to the first impression someone has of you and it could be very difficult to change it. Here are some aspects to ensure that your first impression is good and lasts.

Dress to impress

It is important to look at your wardrobe. Make sure that you wear clothing that shows you respect the company and your fellow colleagues who will be in the meeting. If the meeting is formal make sure that you wear a smart suit. It does not have to be a designer suit but it must be in good nick. If you work in a more creative industry you may be able to wear more casual clothing. It is important to be aware of the dress code of your industry and dress accordingly. If you are unsure, it is always better to be more conservative in the way you dress.

Body language

People see you before they hear you, it is important that your body language shows confidence. You can do this by smiling when you meet people and ensure that you give people a firm handshake. Ensure that the handshake is not too limp or too firm, as this can also give the wrong impression. When you speak to people ensure you keep eye contact and stand facing them. This will show that you are interested in what they have to say and open to doing business with them.

Be prepared

Do your research. Go on to the company’s website to see what they have done and read through their newsfeed to see what is currently happen in their business. If you are able to know who will be attending the meeting, then look up their profile on a website like LinkedIn and see what the attendees’ achievements and interests are. This will help you to have meaningful small talk while you get ready to do your presentation.

Be on time

It is important to be punctual. This will demonstrate to your prospective new client that you value their time and in turn that you value them. By being on time or even a few minutes early you will be able to set up your presentation, test the microphone and make sure all the handouts are ready. This will show people that you are confident, knowledgeable and inspire confidence in the people about your abilities. If you are still setting up and rushing around when people arrive they will think that you are unprepared, lack confidence and they may think that you do not know what you are talking about.

Engage and be engaging

It is important to listen to someone. The time you spend listening may even out with the amount of time you speak. Ensure that you have good questions prepared to draw the person out and have a great conversation. You will leave them with a good lasting impression of having a great conversation and that you were engaged.

By considering these aspects, you will be well on your way to make a good lasting impression. Remember you have on average seven seconds to wow your potential client or employer, so go out there and make an impression that lasts.

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