You know what they say about first impressions; they might be your last chance to impress someone. Did you know that it only takes a few seconds for someone to form an opinion about you? Psychologists call this phenomenon ‘thin slicing’. With a positive impact, you can proceed more confidently and makes the encounter more memorable. Also, a positive impact helps you break the ice more easily and open the floor for future dealings.
Image : shutterstock
As the clock ticks away, an opportunity is also slipping away. So, here’s what you need to do to make every second count and create a good impression:
A good attitude and confidence are two of the most underrated virtues. At the same time don’t let you overconfidence get the better of you. Smiling too much or using too much of slang and informal language puts off people faster than you can imagine.
Nobody likes a person who doesn’t value time. Not being on time indicates that you have no respect for another person’s time and are unprofessional. Try reaching a few minutes before time. Even if you are late for some unavoidable reason, make sure you apologise for the delay.
Well, the curve of lips has won many battles, and meetings are no different. A smile can increase your odds of creating a good impression on the people you are meeting. However, overdoing it might make you look nervous and creates an awkward situation.
Yes, the way you dress does make an impact on people. However, this does not imply that you can make a lasting impression only if you wear the latest fashion or the most expensive clothes. Your appearance should be in tandem with the setting of your meeting. For interviews and client meetings, one should stick to formals. At the same time, things like unkempt hair, untidy clothes, or loud makeup are a big no-no. You could go with casual chic or casual wear for more informal meetings like office parties.
Something as seemingly insignificant as the way you stand or sit gives away a lot about your personality. If the meeting or the interview is in a room, walk confidently rather than stand at the door like a punished child. Walk tall, with a straight back and even shoulders. A case of slouching shoulders can be counterproductive for you image. Harvard-based psychologist Amy Cuddy says standing tall and sitting straight can make one come across as a powerful personality.
A good conversation
A good conversation is the crux of a well-conducted meeting. Start with a good introduction, explaining the reason of your visit or discussing the agenda on your mind, without getting into too many details. Rather than making the conversation completely revolve around what you want to say, give the person a chance to express their view.
Behavioural investigator Vanessa Van Edwards says that majority of interviewers think that a person carrying more than one piece of baggage like a bag or a purse as disorganised and messy. You could keep your coat or bag or anything else you might not need in your car. If someone asks at the reception whether they could keep your coat, then the answer should always be a yes.
If you notice your favourite celebrities, you will observe there’s something about them that draws people to them. For instance, you can notice how sophisticated US president Barack Obama and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan look but at the same time they are highly approachable. Making a lasting impression isn’t rocket science. Rather, it is just being yourself and being confident in your own skin.