Easy Ways To Quickly Make A Great Impression

by Erica Florentine

Whether it’s in our careers or in our social lives, we’re constantly meeting new people. If you’re anything like me, you find it really important to make a great impression on these individuals — particularly those you’ll likely be encountering again in the future. There are easy ways to quickly make a great impression that we can all start incorporating into our lives that make it very simple to get the someone new in our lives to feel positively about us.

There are seemingly endless situations that arise regularly that require us to meet someone new. Every time we’re meeting a new person, it's likely we’re evaluating (perhaps even on a subconscious level) whether they’re someone we like, and on the flip side, they’re developing an impression of us. That’s the reason first impressions are so important — and, they tend to stick with us. They might serve to set the tone for how the relationship between you and this person develops moving forward. I’m not here to make you nervous about your next meeting, though — in fact, quite the opposite. Before we get ourselves worked up and thinking too much into this, let’s remember that impressing this someone new does not have to be a super difficult task. Some of the tricks to acing a first encounter are incredibly simple. Here are 11 easy ways to quickly make a great impression when you meet someone new.

1. Be On Time

Despite whom you’re heading to meet for the first time, you should always aim to be on time if you want to make a great impression. In a piece about first impressions in the workplace, noted being on time shows you’re organized and that you’re considerate of the other person’s time.

2. Avoid Giving A Flimsy Handshake

Flimsy handshakes can actually speak louder than you might imagine. According to Entrepreneur, in many cultures having a solid handshake — not too flimsy or overly firm — is beneficial, as it can make you come across as friendly and sincere. The outlet also suggested to make the best impression, keep the handshakes short.

3. Let Them Do The Talking First

Inc. noted that a really simple way to get the person you’re meeting to instantly trust you is by letting them do the bulk of the talking first. This, according to the outlet, will make the other person also feel warmth towards you, as you’re letting them take the floor and express themselves before you jump in. Use this time to get some insight into who they are and what they’re about, and use that information to ask follow up questions later into the conversation.

4. Then Listen… I Mean Really Listen

Letting the person you’ve just met do the talking is one thing, but actually absorbing what they’re saying is a whole other thing. The latter part of this is equally as important, according to Forbes. By truly listening to the words they’re saying you’re making this person feel like what they’re talking about is of worth — which in turn makes them feel good. Show your full interest by asking those follow up questions we talked about.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Show Your Flaws

Confidence and arrogance are two very different things, and you should remember that very point when you’re aiming to make a great first impression. Going into the conversation as the confident person you are is wonderful, but don’t bombard the other person with endless facts about why you’re so great. According to Real Simple, don’t be scared to show you’re human, too, and have some flaws. This will prevent the person you’re speaking to from feeling completely inferior and vulnerable in the conversation. Be as honest as possible and likely the person will respond in a similar way, and will walk away feeling really positive about the interaction.

6. Put Your Phone Away

Constantly staring at your phone while you’re talking to someone is rude, rude, rude! Imagine how you would feel if you just met someone, you’re in the middle of telling them some things about yourself, and they’re scanning through Instagram and zoning you out. On the flip side, when you’re meeting someone for the first time, power off that phone, or at least keep it tucked away in your purse. noted this is especially important if you’re heading into an interview, for instance, and meeting your potential employer for the first time. Even if you’re sitting idly waiting in the lobby, avoid grabbing for that phone.

7. Smile, Smile, Smile

A simple smile can take you a long way, according to Psychology Today. Why? A smile sends an immediate message to the other person that shows you’re friendly and that you feel good about yourself. In turn, the other person might not be able to help but to smile in return, and feel good about themselves as well, according to the outlet. It’s a major win-win — you’ll both feel positively about yourselves and about each other.

8. Be Mindful Of Your Eye Contact

Another nonverbal way to make a great first impression is by using the right amount of eye contact. In fact, eye contact can directly play into how intelligent the other person perceives you to be, according to the British Psychological Society Research Digest blog. The blog also noted the importance of not overdoing the eye contact though, as if you hold it too long you might make the other person feel uncomfortable.

9. Keep Your Hands Open & Palms Up

Be mindful of your hands when meeting someone, too, according to Nicolas Fradet, conversion optimization consultant and host of the Online Marketing for Profits podcast. This goes beyond the initial handshake we talked about earlier. According to Fradet, keeping your palms open can have a positive effect on how people see you. Unclench those hands next time you’re aiming to make a good impression. (Side note, too, that when you combine open hands and outstretched arms when speaking, it amps up how trustworthy and open you come off as, according to Fradet.)

10. Tilt Your Head

When you tilt your head slightly to the side when someone is speaking to you, it helps nonverbally show that you’re listening and interested in what the other person is saying, according to Joe Navarro, a former special agent with the FBI and author of What Every Body Is Saying . Navarro spoke to Real Simple and noted, oppositely, that when your face is neutral it shows you’re not engaged in the conversation at hand.

What Every Body Is Saying , $15, Amazon

11. Give Them A Compliment

I think it’s safe to say I immediately loved every person that has given me a compliment — I can’t get enough. Compliments serve to boost the other person’s ego and make them feel good, so go ahead and throw one out there when you’re meeting someone new. According to Fast Company, people tend to remember how you made them feel, and a compliment will leave them with a positive feeling. Just be sure to keep the compliment genuine — you don’t want to come across as phony.

When you’re looking to make a great first impression, it’s not that hard to succeed. Just follow some of these simple tips and you can leave the other person remembering you in an incredibly positive light.

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