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7 Things You Should Do, To Make a Strong First Impression in 7 Seconds

You most likely have formed your first impression about most people around you. Most probably, you haven't change that “judgement” of many of them. Even if they proved you wrong, over the years, most likely you thought to yourself, I should have trusted my first impression, the moment they did something that reminded you of how they presented themselves in the first 7 seconds you met them, long ago!


So how about you? What is the impression people are making of you?

It goes without saying how important it is to be able to leave a good first impression on the new people you meet. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. So make sure you are making the right impression from your first chance in 7 seconds.


Smile:

Have you ever felt nervous meeting someone and then after they smile you’ve felt more at ease? Well that proves to you the power of smiling. Smiling not only makes others instantly feel more comfortable around you, it also reduces your own stress levels so that you’ll feel better during the interaction.

Facial expression is so important when it comes to making a good impression. You need to make sure your expression is saying more about you than words could in a split second.

You don’t have to be smiling through your whole conversation, you just want to smile enough that you come across as open and friendly, without coming across as fake. Just make sure you don’t make a false, cheesy grimace slapped across your face.

If you are interviewing for a job or pitching for your next project, go for "I’m a lovely, fun person who would love to chat to you about my future" and come across as warm and outgoing. They need to spend all seven seconds thinking you are confident and professional- which is easily achieved with a genuine smile.



Greetings

First impressions are made from the moment someone sees you at work, or any other professional or social interaction. So if you know, it only takes them those first seven seconds to form an opinion about you, how would you greet them?

A good handshake is an accepted signal of professionalism, politeness and confidence. Handshake is also a fine art; a tricky balance between a tight squeeze and a limp stroke.

If you are interacting with more than one person, in whatever setting, make sure you shake all their hands. Don’t only acknowledge the "main" person in the room. Greeting them all separately will ensure you present yourself successfully.

This is your chance to introduce yourself with a clear confident voice, and express your pleasure meeting them.


Eye contact.

You make a good first impression, whilst you shake hands and introduce yourself, by making eye contact with the other person(s) and maintain it. People perceive you as shifty, nervous or rude when you don’t make eye contact. Just make sure you don’t stare or be creepy about it.

If you’re speaking to one person, make eye contact for 9-10 seconds then briefly look away to break the intensity.

If you’re speaking to a group of people, try and make eye contact with one person for about 3 seconds, then someone else for 3 seconds, and so on, so that everyone feels included in the conversation.

Body language:

Your eyes aren’t the only part of your body to be aware of. The way you stand, walk, and present yourself are just as important as what you actually say.

You want to come across as open and confident so stand tall, smile, and use hand gestures when you speak. So, try to identify and break any nervous habits you have that could give someone the impression that you are nervous, and thus make them feel comfortable.


Active Listening

In most professional encounters, and even in some social ones, when you meet someone for the first time, the odds are that you would feel nervous and most probably focusing more attention on what you will say next, rather than listening to the other person. To make a good first impression you need to show appreciation to the person in conversation. You can show that you are active listening by asking the person a specific question about what they’ve just said. Show them that they are valued and that their thoughts are heard and respected.


Smart Look You’ll be judged on your appearance in the first seven seconds of the encounter. Your appearance is the first thing others will notice. Therefore, you need to pay good attention to how you dress and what is appropriate, and what’s not. You need your appearance to be fitting for the occasion. Even if casual attire is accepted, it is good practice to dress smartly; there is nothing as overdressed.


Speak clearly

Many people have interesting things to say at work but either they speak too fast, or their voice is hardly heard, and that may reflect lack of confidence. You want to be able to portray yourself in a positive light and give whomever you're meeting a reason to listen to you.

Don't overcorrect or speak too loudly. Studies have indicated that those who talk in a deeper voice, and more calming are taken more seriously.


Lastly, it goes without saying that being on time is crucial. Not only is it polite and respectful to arrive on time, but you don’t want to send a message that you disrespect them and value your time more than theirs.


 
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