Leaving a great first impression on a person or group is much easier than most people believe. Many assume it is all about what you say and how you say it. This assumption leads to a big misconception, veiling the many caveats of human-to-human interaction and relationship building. Leaving a great impression is akin to building a relationship with a person. This relationship can start on a solid ground of trust and confidence or can leave both parties ambiguous about each other. If you are ready to leave a lasting impression but do not know where to start, here are eight practical steps that can help in your endeavor.
Woah! Who would have thought shoes would be essential to impressing someone? Clean and well-polished shoes speak volumes about how deeply your care for the little things in life. You could wear an immaculate bespoke suit, but without a pair of clean shoes, you leave the ensemble incomplete and unorganized. People appreciate organized things, and that is not up for debate. And we believe that clean shoes are the key to making your mark.
Ironing clothes is a fundamental skill every man must learn before becoming an adult. Putting on clean and ironed clothes signal self-care. Just like a pair of clean shoes leave a good impression, properly ironed clothes communicate that you care about your presentability. Usually, ironing your clothes should not take more than 10-15 minutes. The results, however, will leave a lasting impression on the other person, especially if you are out on a job interview or meeting someone new. Now, that is a bargain every man should be willing to make.
Dress for the Occasion
Dressing inappropriately for an occasion or setting will significantly impact your chances of creating a lasting impression. Avoid dressing too formally if you are meeting your colleagues for the first time or a potential dating partner. Likewise, avoid jeans and casual shoes if you have a job interview. However, if you are attending a wedding, we strongly advise going for a suited look with oxfords. Is this not a compelling reason to plan your wardrobe methodically?
One would agree that beards are the trend these days. Most bearded men would admit that it has been months since they last put a razor on their faces. While growing a beard can make you feel confident and masculine, the same cannot be true for someone you are meeting for the first time. For whatever reasons, beards exude aggression, in our humble opinion. While we do not recommend removing your beard entirely, it would certainly help if you could groom it a little. Research on this matter suggests that most people find clean-shaven men intelligent, trustworthy, and easygoing. But, if you are unwilling to drop your mane, building a regular grooming habit will undoubtedly convey that you take your presentability sincerely.
Many of us have had instances where greeting someone was awkward and somewhat embarrassing. You can turn such uncomfortable scenarios around by taking the onus on yourself to lead the greeting moment and project confidence. Typically, people greet someone new with a handshake and a simple “Hello”. Many of us, if not careful, can mess this up. Remember, if you are meeting someone new for the first time, you must exchange a firm handshake and face the person.
Put on a Genuine Smile
Most people smile upon meeting new people, but many don’t smile genuinely. Believe it or not, it is easy for people to pick up on minute details. There is no magic formula for achieving a genuine smile, but we think it comes down to where you are in your headspace given the moment. You will undoubtedly have a genuine smile if you are genuinely excited to meet someone. And come on, life is too short to be gloomy.
Firm Strong Eye Contact
Research says human communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% tone, and only 7% words. Most nonverbal communication boils down to your body language and eye contact. People appreciate individuals who can hold soft but firm eye contact. Being able to maintain good eye contact projects self-confidence. And who does not respect confident people? If you have difficulty maintaining good eye contact, be observant of yourself, start slow, and you will quickly pick up the skill. That’s how I learned.
Body Language and Mirroring
Just as important as maintaining good eye contact is, so is having an open body language. An open and relaxed body language conveys self-confidence and that you are comfortable in your skin. Observation suggests that people feel less anxious around calm and composed individuals. Also, ensure to mirror what the other person does. If the person smiles a lot, consider smiling more. If they lean in, do not lean back. If you are watchful enough, a few of these nonverbal details can do wonders.
As an individual, you must never leave any opportunity where you can to leave a great first impression on someone. You never know how a person could come to your aid at some point in life. Also, knowingly or unknowingly, people like to be impressed. So, seeing someone stand out from the crowd is always great. Your impression of someone has the potential to weave opportunities or close doors forever.
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