Make your­self Mem­o­rable

F i V e w a y s t o e n s u r e y o u r F i r s t i m p r e s s i o n i s a l a s t i n g o n e

WKND - - People Skills Image Matters -

Within the first few sec­onds of meet­ing some­one, an opinion is im­me­di­ately formed that can last for­ever. This en­counter of­ten sets the tone for the re­la­tion­ship that fol­lows. So how can you make your first im­pres­sion a pos­i­tive one?

Here are some tips to help you knock your first meet­ing out of the park:

Take pride in your pres­ence Phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance is the first thing peo­ple ob­serve be­fore an in­tro­duc­tion. Al­ways dress ap­pro­pri­ately for the oc­ca­sion, whether it’s a ca­sual lunch or a for­mal busi­ness meet­ing. A go- to sug­ges­tion is to main­tain a clean and crisp ap­pear­ance for most events be­cause you can’t go wrong — think busi­ness ca­sual. This look can be trendy and pro­fes­sional and will po­si­tion you in a pos­i­tive light. Be­ing mind­ful of your ap­pear­ance will give you more con­fi­dence to help make a great first im­pres­sion.

share your best smile A warm, gen­uine smile is your best tool in mak­ing a first im­pres­sion un­for­get­table. “A self- as­sured and con­vinc­ing smile starts with reg­u­lar oral care prac­tices to keep your teeth clean and your breath smelling fresh,” says Dr Christo­pher Ram­sey, DMD. An easy way to do this is by adding a mouth­wash to your daily rou­tine, that can “strengthen teeth, kill germs and freshen breath, so you are guar­an­teed to have and main­tain an im­pres­sive smile,” says Dr Todd Sny­der, DDS, AAACD.

show­case your pos­i­tive at­ti­tude For peo­ple who get ner­vous when in­ter­act­ing with oth­ers, it is es­sen­tial to sus­tain a calm at­ti­tude and an op­ti­mistic out­look. Go into the meet­ing with an open mind and learn some­thing new. Con­trib­ute to the con­ver­sa­tion and main­tain en­gage­ment. Show­ing at­ten­tive­ness is of­ten con­ta­gious, as the per­son you meet catches on and re­cip­ro­cates.

be con­scious of your body lan­guage Body lan­guage is a cru­cial el­e­ment in daily hu­man in­ter­ac­tion. From the way you walk to a meet­ing, to the hand ges­tures used while you speak — body lan­guage is just as im­por­tant as the words you say. Start by stand­ing tall, mak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate eye con­tact and giv­ing a firm handshake. Demon­strate open body pos­tures by keep­ing your head up and re­lax­ing your shoul­ders. Crossed arms and legs make you ap­pear closed off and un­ap­proach­able, so be mind­ful of how you might ap­pear to oth­ers.

be your­self Be­ing true to your­self is the best way to be pre­sentable to oth­ers. Be com­fort­able with your per­son­al­ity. If ner­vous­ness kicks in, take a few deep breaths and re­mem­ber to be calm and con­fi­dent. A com­posed de­meanour will put any­one at ease, seal­ing the deal on an ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship as you move for­ward.

Mak­ing an ev­er­last­ing first im­pres­sion is sim­ply about be­ing at peace with who you are and be­ing ready to meet oth­ers. Try some of the above tips at your next meet­ing, net­work­ing event or job in­ter­view.

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