How many times have you met someone and either instantly liked that person or not? Though it may hardly seem fair, but first impressions matter in those initial seven to 27 seconds it takes to form an opinion of a person. Thus, it helps to avoid first impression mistakes that could wrongly misjudge you just in case you don’t realize you may be making them.
Think of it this way. People have a natural tendency to automatically measure up someone based on the tone of your voice, physical appearance, choice of attire to how you come across from the emotions you show through facial expressions and body language. All of these influence others, but they are hard to correct after a first impression, which is why blunders are so costly to how that person perceives you.
Though you can’t change your face or figure, you can make sure that you dress appropriately for the occasion. Perhaps, you are going on an interview. Before you go for that important meeting, you might want to research about the company to be prepared about proper attire to honing up on details for questions about the company that may be posed to you. Depending on the work environment, a suit may be required in a financial atmosphere for example instead of chancing it and going in blind wearing something more casual such as with bright green hair or a nose ring.
Your speech is very important when meeting another for the first time. You may get nervous easily, but rehearsing what you may be asked can be helpful to put a stop to first impression mistakes. Otherwise, you might be unable to think on the spot or speak too fast and risk a mistake when trying to present yourself in the best light. A simple solution if speaking to a new person makes you uncomfortable is practicing what you might say in front of a mirror. Just remember, speak calmly and try not to talk with your hands. You also may want to read my earlier post on stress management strategies.
Having an idea of what you might say can help with a more confident delivery of your answers when asked. Maybe you don’t know how to put things and deliver exactly what you want to say. Here is a suggestion that may help. Think of how a story unfolds to explain those details that you want to convey can be the inspiration to help you finding the right words with more confidence.
Just as important as how you talk is listening to avoid first impression mistakes. Sit up straight and maintain eye contact instead of gazing around the room or looking downward because you’re nervous. Every speaker deserves the same respect so show it if you intend to make the best impression.
First impressions do matter so make them count in your favor.