Make your best impression in 7 seconds
Research suggests that when you meet someone for the first time, you have just seven seconds to make a great first impression. You never have that chance again. While you might convince someone that their first impression of you was wrong, it’s much, much easier to get it right the first time around.
Here are five tips to help you make the best possible impression within seven seconds, to help you boost your personal brand from the word ‘go’:
- Use positive body language: Don’t slouch, give a firm handshake, make direct eye contact and ensure that your body language shows that you are interested, confident and engaged.
- Be yourself: People can spot a fake. And trying to be someone else is exhausting. Be yourself because being genuine is an attractive quality and will ensure that the image you project after your first impression remains consistent.
- Be interested: Listen to what people are saying when they talk to you and engage with them rather than waiting for the chance to talk about yourself or your own agenda. People are more likely to be interested in what you say if you’ve shown them that you care about what they’ve said.
- Remember names: It’s not only embarrassing when you forget the name of the person you’re talking to – it also creates a bad impression. Repeat the person’s name in the conversation to ensure it sticks.
- Find what the person is passionate about and connect with it: Maybe the person you’re speaking to you loves helping children in need. Maybe they’re passionate about small businesses in South Africa. When you find out whatever it is that makes them tick, ask them questions about their passion and relate to it. You’ll generate an emotional connection, which is a great foundation for a good first impression and a lasting relationship.