You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression and as clichéd as it may be, it’s certainly accurate.
The first face-to-face moments with anyone new will make or break how you’re perceived – especially in the world of work. Whether you’re pitching for business, greeting new employees or preparing for an interview, you too can learn how to appear confident and reliable in the very first instance.
Once an initial impression is made, it’s almost impossible to change, so make sure you get it right the first time. Follow these simple tips to assist you in making worthwhile connections – before you’ve even introduced yourself:
1. Handshake perfection
A handshake is universally acknowledged as a show of character and strength – make sure yours is firm and clasped for the shortest time required, any longer and things can get awkward…
Your eyes are the source of your authentic self and to be trusted, you must offer and maintain steady eye contact. Try out Cordero’s five-second rule: “Stand in front of a full-length mirror. Close your eyes for five seconds. Open them. The first thing you see should be your eyes. If it’s not, it’s because something you’re wearing is too distracting, and you need to made some changes.”
3. Posture positivity
A positive mindset should definitely make you stand taller, but it’s also important to keep your shoulders square to the person you’re talking to. You’ll also benefit from setting your shoulder blades back and dropping your arms at their sides – this helps you to look relaxed and comfortable.
4. Statement clothing
Your clothing makes a visual statement so you want it to send the right message. When dressing professionally, keep it appropriate, authoritative and authentic. Ask yourself how may I be expected to dress in a client-facing role? You want to look polished and prepared. But don’t be afraid to allow your personality to shine through too, accent pieces or colours are a way to convey who you really are.
5. Project confidence
Be it a networking event or one-on-one meeting, you always want to appear positive and confident. But rather than telling yourself a reassuring but vague affirmation such as, “I’m ace!” recall a specific time when you accomplished something truly significant and retain that feeling of success – it’s evidence that you’re more than capable of the task at hand.