Have you ever wondered why people wear suits or smart formal clothes when they go for a business meeting or a job interview?
The reason is simple: the first impression is the best impression that one should make. Some even say the first impression is the last impression.
Nobody wants to miss out on making a great opening impression as that can often be the decisive factor in determining whether there will be a second meeting or not.
Why first impressions are important
Let’s look at an example. Rajiv was talented and highly qualified. Yet he failed to get employed even after appearing for dozens of interviews. He discussed his problem with his friend, Suresh, who made him understand that his problem was not about skills or knowledge, but his failure to make a good impression.
If the first impression is not good, it can be a deal-breaker. A positive first impression, on the other hand, can help forge long-term professional associations.
When you meet people professionally, you are usually judged on the basis of how you behave, what you wear, how you communicate, your body language, and self-projection.
How to create a good first impression
The first impression is critical. No matter how many times you meet people, they usually always associate you with the first impression you made on them.
The reason behind this phenomenon is that the first impression sets the ball rolling, and every subsequent meeting or impression is most likely an extension of that. That’s why you should consider that the first impression is the last impression and prepare accordingly.
Let’s take a look at five things that you must focus on to create a good impression:
Know what you will be talking about
When you go to meet a potential client, a service provider, or an employer, you must be well-prepared.
Being overconfident and walking into a meeting room without any planning is likely to end poorly. Review your points, gather your facts and acquaint yourself about the person and the company you are going to meet. If you know precisely what to do, it will be easier to make a good impression.
You should also be prepared for any off-the-cuff points that might come up during the course of the discussion.
Make your body speak the right language
You should not appear hassled, tired, or disinterested at any point during the meeting. At the same time, you need to guard against over-confidence or arrogance.
Slouching in your seat, avoiding eye contact, fidgeting with objects, drooping shoulders are some of the signs that indicate you are disinterested or not focused enough. Remember that the first impression is the last impression and it needs to be a good impression.
Walk in confidently with your head held high. Be polite yet clearly audible. Maintain a positive outlook and smile. High-ranking executives, coaches, celebrities, and political leaders often practice for public appearances. Earlier, people rehearsed in front of mirrors. Today, you have video cameras.
While you must come across as a smart and knowledgeable person, your knowledge base is not the only thing that will make a great first impression. Remember that it is important to ensure that the first impression is the best impression and that will be possible if you cover all the bases.
While you prepare for a meeting or interview, do a little research about the person and the company that you are going to meet. Check their social media profiles, blogs, or any other news or information related to them that is available online. This can prove to be highly beneficial in ensuring that your first impression is the best impression on the people you meet.
Dress to impress
What you wear can be as important as what you speak at a business meeting. Wear formal clothes that are spotlessly clean and crispy looking. The colors you wear should not be too strong or dominating.
You should also avoid wearing anything flashy, revealing, or casual. While business suits are usually a safe bet, you can also choose your clothes and accessories according to the climate and culture of the location.
In short, you should dress up as someone confident, comfortable, and smart.
Drive the conversation to your strengths
The first impression is the last impression and you should do everything that you can to ensure that your first impression is the best impression you make.
Hence, try and keep the discussion centered around your strengths and achievements. Talk about the time when you cracked a major deal for the company or received a special citation from a client.
First impressions are important. In fact, they have so much impact that people say that the first impression is the last impression. Harappa Education understands the criticality of the first impression. The Building Presence course will help you understand how to help you make a great first impression. It goes without saying that focusing on ensuring the first impression is the best impression will help you score high and further your career or business growth.
Explore topics such as Resilience, How to Know Yourself, How to Handle Pressure at Work, Self Awareness, Self Management, and the Meaning of Charisma from our Harappa Diaries blog section and take charge of your growth.
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