Nail Your First Impressions Every Time

Meeting someone new happens all the time: during a job interview, pitching a potential client or meeting a C-level executive. Here are five tips for making a great first impression every time.

  1. Be presentable and professional. Make sure your clothes are pressed and fit well—this conveys that you are a person who pays attention to small details. People tend to notice hands and shoes, so keep your nails and hands clean and don’t forget to polish your shoes!
  2. Smile. Genuinely smiling when meeting someone for the first time conveys confidence, sincerity and appreciation. To spark a response, smile as you introduce yourself. When the executive says his or her name, repeat it and smile back.
  3. Make eye contact. When greeting someone, look him or her directly in the eye for a moment to establish a connection. Remember: There’s a fine line between staring someone down and not making enough eye contact. Aim for a solid 30 to 60 seconds to appear professional.
  4. Offer a firm handshake. A handshake is more than just a greeting—it’s also a message about your personality and confidence level. A firm handshake, offered with good eye contact, communicates self-confidence. And in the business world, a handshake is an important tool in making the right first impression.
  5. Repeat the person’s name. As soon as you meet someone, try repeating his or her name once or twice. You can work this into your introduction; for example: once the person has introduced himself, respond with, “It’s great to meet you, Steve! How long have your worked here, Steve?” This will not only help you remember names but will make the other person feel good.

In the business world, first impressions matter—a lot. Our Leadership Presentation & Image Skills program will help you create lasting, positive impressions, control nerves and communicate with purpose.