Creating the right first impression can be easy if you know what to do
There’s a reason why they say first impression is the last impression. Usually all it takes is just a few seconds for people to judge you and make an opinion about you, and this opinion of you will perhaps be deciding factor on how people view you for the rest of your life. Nikesh Shakya, senior trainer at Media Training House and Entertainment, says that most of the times the future of a relationship depends on how we present ourselves and respond to situations in the very first meeting. For some creating a good first impression is an easy breezy task, but for many of us it’s a nerve wrecking situation to act perfectly in public. Since avoiding social situations isn’t a solution, The Week with Shakya’s help has a few pointers on how you can create the right impression and make sure that people’s first impression of you is the certainly the best one.
The person you are meeting for the first time usually will not know anything about you. The first impression in these situations begins with your physical appearance and dress code. From head to toe, you must be sure that you are portraying yourself in the best possible way. For this, dress or use accessories according to the demand of the occasion. A sparkling heavy embroidered dress would definitely look weird and create the wrong impression if it’s an official meeting you are attending. Make sure you always dress properly and don’t look overdressed for any occasion.
Maintain a winning smile
Facial expressions are really important when it comes to making a good first impression. No one would prefer to start a conversation with those who are vividly expressing how irritated they are to see strangers around. So one should adjust to the situation and always try maintaining a warm and confident smile on their faces, regardless of how nervous they are. Not only will a smiling face comfort other people and make them open up to you naturally, it will also decrease the level of your stress hormones.
However, while smiling is important, Shakya suggests not going overboard with this. While you definitely want to look cheerful, you also don’t want to come across as insincere on the first meeting itself. So keep it light and natural.
Know the correct way of greeting
Conveying a proper greeting to another boosts your personality. The common way of greetings we use is either ‘Namaste’ or a handshake. No matter what which form of greeting you choose, you must show utmost politeness and respect. Greeting people with a ‘Namaste’ is an old tradition and most Nepalis are familiar with this. But a handshake is a popular way of greeting too. However, you must keep a few things in mind.
If you are a man meeting a woman, observe and analyze whether she is comfortable with a handshake or not. If you aren’t sure, wait until she extends her hand first. And if you are a woman, don’t hesitate to initiate a handshake. This will put the man at ease and also make you look confident. Lastly, while meeting people of the same gender as you, you may extend your hand first to show confidence and self-assurance. Make sure your grip is firm and isn’t loose and soft, and don’t pull your hand out in a hurry.
Be interested and attentive
You wouldn’t want to deal with someone who you think is disinterested in what you are saying or ignoring you now would you? The same goes when you are meeting people for the first time. You need to show some interest in the people around you or the topic of discussion. Don’t just stand still with a blank look on your face or be busy on you phone. To express your views on the topic being discussed, use simple sentences and don’t try to show off by putting on fake accents (You would be surprised how many are guilty of this). This will help you have lasting conversations and sometimes connections as well.
If you do not feel like continuing with the conversation (and sometimes you inevitably will), wait for the correct time to excuse yourself and leave the group politely.
Lastly, relax and be yourself
Before you meet anyone, tell yourself that you are good enough to initiate a good relationship with others. Building unnecessary self-concerns in your head will only worsen the situation by making you too self conscious and thus edgy. But faking to be comfortable will also not work. You have to actually be comfortable and at ease to function at your best. So make sure you are relaxed before attending any social functions. Once there, do not forget your manners and be humble. Most importantly, don’t interrupt people and don’t speak loudly. These are sure shot ways of coming across as rude and obnoxious. However, don’t set too many rules for yourself otherwise you’ll be so focused on what you can and can’t do that you will end up looking wound up and preoccupied.