How To Make A Great First Impression

Make A Killer Impression In The Classroom And In Your Chapter
 Make A Killer Impression In The Classroom And In Your Chapter

They say that within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, a first impression is formed, and that first impression has lasting effects on your relationship with that person.

So as you kick off a new semester, creating relationships in the classroom, in your chapter, or on the weekends, consider these top tips for leaving a great first impression.

  1. Stand tall. Giving off confidence through the way you carry yourself in posture can go a long way. Hunching your shoulders, folding your arms and shrinking your height can make you look reserved, uninterested, unconfident or even angry. By correcting your posture and projecting a sense of assurety, people will be drawn to your confidence and more likely to want to engage.

  2. Don’t forget to smile. The easiest and most overlooked gesture -- a smile -- also can go the longest way. Facial expressions are the first thing people notice when they meet you, and you can have an immediate impact by making sure you come across as friendly with a smile. By exuding positivity, you’ll also make those around you feel more comfortable and at ease.  

  3. Embrace eye contact. Darting eyes seem devious, and a downward gaze makes you look nervous or shy. Establish and hold eye contact -- but not so much so that you seem creepy! -- to show that you’re interested in engaging. By looking someone in the eye when they speak, you show you’re interested, and people tend to like people who are interested in them.

  4. Be yourself. While seemingly obvious, we don’t realize how much we alter our characters when meeting someone for the first time in order to project a better version of ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with putting your best self forward, but when done to a degree that feels inauthentic, it can become obvious. By being a real version of yourself, you’ll earn trust and respect.

  5. Ace small talk. When meeting someone for the first time, be conversational! Practice your small talk. Learn the types of conversation topics that people respond well to off the bat, and have a couple of talking points and questions you can fall back on if the conversation goes flat. When you’re perceived as being sociable and conversive, people are more likely to want to get to know you.

  6. Be polite. Minding your P’s & Q’s is something we often forget when we’re surrounded by peers our own age. The need to be polite is lost when there aren’t any adults around requiring respect. Nonetheless, be mindful of the swear words, overuse of slang, and casual conversation topics you’d fall into if hanging out with your friends. Having good manners and being courteous means keeping your cellphone on silent and in your pocket, and being focused with your attention so as not to get distracted in conversation.

  7. Watch your body language. Along with keeping a smile on your face, standing tall, and embracing eye contact, watch your overall body language. Psychologists have studied all the ways you can carry yourself, angle yourself, and gesture -- and how impactful they can be in determining a first impression. Start by simply being aware of your body and movements, as that can result in immediate improvements.

  8. Put the focus on others. When put into a new situation with unfamiliar faces, we tend to focus on ourselves, how we’re perceived, and get stuck in our heads. But by paying more attention to those that are surrounding us, instead of ourselves, and putting the focus on how they feel, you can create a better impression. Make someone feel appreciated, try to find things in common when they speak, or share something they’ve mentioned they have an interest in, and you’ll improve how you’re perceived inadvertently.



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