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4 Ways to Make A Great First Impression On Anyone

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ways to make a great first impression

You only get one chance to make a great first impression.

No one will remember you, or pay you much attention if your first impression is so unmemorable. But there are many different ways to make sure you make a powerful, memorable first impression, and we’re going to look at four of the most effective methods.

 

 

 

 

 

Making A Great Impression

 

1. Design your elevator pitch

An elevator pitch is how you describe what you do for a living in a short amount of time, usually about thirty seconds. It’s called an elevator pitch because 30 seconds is the amount of time you will normally have to wait for an elevator. During that time it’s important that you can sum up what you do and how you do it. This is also useful in social situations when meeting people for the first time.

If you network with other business people, then along with your business card this is the most important way of getting your message across.

When starting a new business your main marketing tool is….YOU!  By meeting people and speaking to them you are going to spread awareness of your business. When I first started working for myself, I had never heard of an elevator pitch or a 30 second story.

If someone asked me what I did I would undermine the importance of my business and be quite vague. This was because I was afraid of what other people would think and also because I hadn’t developed enough confidence in myself.

You don’t have to be starting or own your own business to benefit from having an elevator pitch. Write a thirty second script that you would say to someone when you meet them for the first time. Learning this off by heart can help you make a really good first impression. It’s very important that you deliver it with confidence as you won’t be saying it again to that particular person.

Since I developed my elevator pitch I have stopped sabotaging myself through introductions where I appeared nervous and lacking self-belief. Knowing my elevator speech well allows me to introduce myself with confidence and clarity and describe concisely what I do. You have to look as if you believe in yourself, and sound as if you believe in yourself, to enable others to believe in you too! You need to make it easy for them to connect with you.

 

2. Speak for Yourself

Sometimes you will be introduced to someone and the person who is making the introduction will do all the talking. If you are anxious or nervous then it is much easier to just stand there, smile and say Hi. In my own experience, I found that people don’t remember you if you don’t say anything and let the other person do all the talking. Speak for yourself.

After you have been introduced, make an effort to engage with that person with a question, for example, ‘do you come to these functions regularly?’ or give them some information about yourself. Try to ask open questions, beginning with ‘how do you….’ or ‘what do you feel about….’ When you really can’t think of anything to say, find something in common, or if you  know a little about them, then use it to your advantage, for example ’Jim tells me you were born in Hawaii, what was growing up there like?’

Remember, most people love to talk about themselves!

 

3. Treat Everyone Like The Gatekeeper To Your Destiny

Joel Osteen, the American preacher and speaker, says that you should treat everyone like the gatekeeper to your destiny. What he means by this is that everyone you meet has the potential to change your life immeasurably and help you get to where you want to be. This is why it is vitally important to treat everyone the same and introduce yourself to as many people as possible, as you never know who will change your life for the better.

I recently met an old family friend whom I had not seen in many years. He did not recognise me and in the past I would have let my anxiety get the better of me and not said hello. These days, I am a lot more confident than I used to be, so I introduced myself and then used my elevator pitch to tell him what I am doing now.

I would have been happy with just the process of introducing myself and using my elevator pitch but the outcome of that chance meeting has been amazing and has provided me with huge opportunities. That is what I’ve found from introducing yourself well and using your elevator pitch. People will think of ways in which they can help you.

Try it out for yourself, and you will see more and more people will want to help you. Enthusiasm is infectious and people want to be a part of your success. You will also realise that there may be ways in which you can help other people and you might even be the gatekeeper to their destiny!

 

4. Body Language and Attitude

These are common sense tips that you probably already know but are easy to forget about and not to put into practice. Body posture is very important when you meet someone. The human brain will pick up many signals subconsciously from a meeting in a split second to help it form an opinion of you. You want to make sure you are giving off as many positive signals as possible.

Standing up straight is the most basic but the most important. When you stand up straight with your shoulders back you are giving the signal that you are confident in yourself. You also need to speak clearly and purposefully.

Your introduction and elevator pitch will have no impact if you mumble and look at the person’s shoes or over their shoulder. Always look people in the eyes. If you find this difficult then look at people’s eyebrows as they will think you are looking into their eyes. Make sure you smile throughout your meeting. Happiness and enthusiasm are infectious and attractive.

If you are anxious or nervous then meeting people may be difficult for you. It will help you immensely to control your breathing. Take slow deep breaths, this will help you to remain calm and be confident. Say to yourself “I’m calm and relaxed; I want to share who I am and what I do with others”.

If you believe in yourself and seem confident, enthusiastic and genuinely interested in the other person, then you will make a great first impression. Some people may not like you for reasons that are beyond your control, perhaps you remind them of someone or they are just simply having a bad day. If you have negative responses, don’t let this affect you. You are only in control of your own actions and thoughts. The outcomes of your meetings are out of your control so focus on the process!

The majority of the first meetings will be great and you will begin to attract new people into your life who want to help you and be friends with you.

If you have business cards then it’s best to carry them around with you everywhere you go as you never know who you could meet. Having a case is important to keep them in good condition. I’m not suggesting you give them out like confetti to everyone, but it’s important to have some to hand to give to the people who are interested or you think could make a difference to your business.

If you find introducing yourself difficult or you want to improve your first impression then a great way to do it is to practice. Go to a place where you can introduce yourself to someone. A networking event is a great place to meet lots of new people.

If you haven’t got an event coming up soon, practice by introducing yourself to the person serving you in the supermarket, in the bookstore, your neighbour, etc. You will learn something from every interaction especially the ones that are less than perfect.

I hope these tips will enable you to be your authentic, positive, confident self when meeting people and make memorable impressions at every opportunity.

 

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. chuks

    May 19, 2015 at 5:26 am

    I have learnt much from this article. I’ll start looking straight into people’s eyes while making my first impression.

  2. Anne

    Feb 26, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Can someone please give me a sample of an ELEVATOR PITCH? I cannot quite make up my mind on how I can create mine.
    Thanks! 🙂

  3. Nikola Gjakovski

    Feb 17, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I must say, I was thrilled by this article. Really useful and I especially like no.3.

  4. Daniel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Very in depth post. Well done. Confidence goes along way indeed.

  5. Ankit

    Feb 4, 2014 at 6:30 am

    It is very informative post. This can increase your self-confidence.

  6. jorgemixramos

    Feb 3, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Well elaborated article!! those tips were just too interesting for me and anyone.

    I’m curious about if it’s better to just bring my elevator pitch to the conversation or just wait for the person i’m talking with to ask about myself?

  7. Dimitrios Dirchalidis

    Feb 2, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Thank you!

  8. Ve Dixon

    Jan 31, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Awesome tips.

  9. Nikola Gjakovski

    Jan 31, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Pretty teachable article. It’s good to know that someone want’s to help you by writing these type of articles.

    Keep up!

  10. pawan

    Jan 31, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for elvating us…thank you very much.

  11. Naomi@quitmyjob

    Jan 30, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Rhydian,

    I can really relate to lacking self-belief and self-sabotaging. It’s an on going process and some days are better than others.

    I love the ‘elevator’ speech idea, great advice. Great article.

    Thanks, Naomi

    • rhydianfairfax

      Feb 4, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Hey Naomi, I think keeping a diary really helps as you can read through it on the not so good days and remind yourself of times when you were feeling good!

  12. Jazzel Yousef

    Jan 30, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Its a great article! I would also like to add one thing. Hygiene and the way you dress will also play a huge role in creating a first impression

    • rhydianfairfax

      Jan 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      I agree Jazzel, being smart and clean is very important!

  13. Jayson

    Jan 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Great post. Thank you. Although Elevator pitch generally refers to the amount of time one has to pitch an idea from the first floor to the CEO’s floor which is usually the top. Get him to want to know more in 15-30 sec.

  14. Asocode

    Jan 30, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Thans so much for the article

  15. LudvigSunström

    Jan 30, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Great post and some very applicable tips.

    • rhydianfairfax

      Jan 30, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Hey Ludvig, thanks.

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