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First Impressions Matter!

by Kimberly Irwin, Publicist for Back to Basics Social Graces

When you watch a movie or read a book which are the parts you remember the most distinctly? The beginning and the end ofcourse! That’s why first impressions are crucial when forming new relationships and leave a lasting impression. Whether you are meeting a new potential employer, new friend or love interest, the principles remain the same. Here are some general guidelines to helping you achieve the best possible first impression every time. Here are some key tips to make a great first impression!

1. Be confident: confidence is always key. If you’re not proud of who you are, why would anyone want to be around you?

2. Be a good listener: avoid dominating too much of the conversation. Allow other people to speak and ask for their opinions. Others will appreciate that you took the time to listen to what they have to say.

3. Make eye contact: eye contact shows that you’re engaged in the conversation and are an active participant in it.

4. Dress well:  grooming. If you look nice, people will generally have a more positive impression of you. Meet with a stylist to create the perfect “look” that represents your signature style!

5. Be honest: People can tell when you are being sincere and genuine.

6. Be respectful: Always be respectful. There is nothing more off putting than a rude person.

7. Use the other person’s name: People love to hear their own names. It makes others feel special and valued.

8. Be humble: Humility is a highly admired quality in a person. Avoid bragging about yourself or constantly trying to be the center of attention.

9. Be at eye level with the person you are speaking to. If they are standing, you should stand and vice versa.

10. Always rise when being introduced to someone new especially someone older or higher rank.

11. Hygiene: make sure your nails, hair, hands, face, ears and teeth are clean and presentable and your clothes are fresh and laundered. Deodorant is a MUST.

12. Open up a conversation with a compliment: not only is it the perfect icebreaker but making someone feel good with a compliment is one of the kindest gestures and can make someone’s entire day! Often, people feel ignored or anonymous and you have the power to make them feel special and noticed!

13. Offer to help someone: another great ice breaker and a foot into the door of someone’s heart is to take the time to volunteer your assistance or loan someone something that they need. This is especially shocking as a stranger will be tremendously grateful and pleasantly surprised that you were so generous and helpful. The gesture says a lot about you and it also inspires others to pay it forward and be kind to others.

14. Listen: sometimes just lending a caring ear and empathizing with someone is just what the doctor ordered. Sometimes your calm presence and focused attention can even be powerful enough to save a life.

15. Make something home made instead of store bought or host someone in your home instead of meeting at a restaurant: time is money and this gesture demonstrates that the person’s company is valuable enough to you to invest the time. Priceless!

16. Table manners: if you are making your dining companion nauseous by licking your fingers, picking up crumbs and eating them, chewing with your mouth open, talking with your mouth full, slurping your drink, hitting your utensils against your teeth, leaning on the table or holding your drink with both hands they will not be able to even look at you let alone connect with you.

Keep these tips in mind to get started off on the right foot in personal and professional interactions.  And remember, you only have one chance to make a great first impression!

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