Making a good impression with new people is important. Whether they’re a client or a potential new friend, you want them to think highly of you. If they don’t, you’re not likely to make much progress moving forward. However, there’s more to a first impression than what you say. Before you’ve even opened your mouth, people have already formed an opinion on you because of your body language. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to change how you present yourself to ensure you’re not giving off a bad vibe.
It’s all in the face
Any decent person is going to be looking at your face when you’re talking to them. Of course, that means that whatever’s going on up there will be picked apart more than anything else you do. Make sure that you smile as often as possible, so long as it’s not inappropriate in the situation. Don’t try offering condolences or with a beaming smile on your face! In the right circumstances, it will express warmth and show you to be welcoming, something that’s incredibly important for a first impression.
Moreover, make sure to keep eye contact as often as possible. It demonstrates that you’re focusing on them, especially when they’re talking, which always has a positive impact. If you seem receptive to what they’re saying, they’ll want to keep speaking to you.
Open up your body
So many of us close our arms without thinking about it, but that’s one of the biggest no-nos when it comes to first impressions. Standing there with your arms folded is going to set you apart from the crowd for all the wrong reasons.
If you have your arms folded, it looks like you’re bored and don’t want to be there. That will drive people away from you very quickly and make a poor first impression. Keep your arms by your side (unless you’re a very animated speaker) and refrain from closing yourself off from everyone – it’ll pay off in the end.
Show your interest
Body language is incredibly important because it shows whether or not you’re interested in someone. The wrong movements or positions can signal that you don’t care what the other person has to say, which of course is the last thing you want. Fortunately, there are non-verbals cues you can do which will show your interest without going overboard.
These include things like leaning forward and giving purposeful nods. Small gestures like this show that you’re involved in the conversation and not invested in something happening over their shoulder. Just don’t go too overboard with them otherwise you might look a little too keen.
It’s easy to get too overwhelmed when it comes to making a first impression. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or offend anyone, but the stress of that is what causes you to mess up. Thankfully, meeting new people doesn’t have to fill you with anxiety if you just relax and keep these tips in mind. As long as your body’s doing the right thing, you’ll have no problem making a good first impression.