Episode 18: Floppy Handshakes (How to make good first impressions)
No, that was kind of awkward.
Good day sir/mam…
Nope way too formal. Let me try again.
Nope I definitely can’t pull that off.
First impressions ey (awkward pause), yea can be a bit of a nightmare or can be the start of a beautiful amazing relationship. Whether we like them or not they are kind of important and can really direct the course of how a relationship, whether formal or informal, will go.
Life in your 20s can lead to lots of new opportunities and those opportunities often involve meeting new people (unless you’ve achieved every introvert's dream and you’ve been asked to go live in a luxurious cottage on the edge of the shetland islands (north Scotland)).
Thus, learning the skill of how to make a good first impression is quite valuable and because I’m feeling generous, I’m going to give you a few handy tips on how to make a good first impression.
Tip #1 It’s all about the body
Apparently it takes a tenth of a second to make an impression and our body can send all kinds of signals. So if you want people to feel comfortable around you and feel that they can open up with you; then make sure you have an open body (no that doesn’t mean be in star jump position).
That means make sure you don’t have your arms crossed or your fists closed. If you use your hands to communicate then that’s great too but obviously be careful not to get in anyone’s personal space.
(Remember personal space differs depending on cultures, so make sure you’re aware of people’s cultural expectations as well).
Tip #2 A compliment will go a long way
Now that we’ve got our body positions sorted let’s focus on what you’re saying. Different words are needed for different occasions so be sure whatever words you’re using match the situation (party vs funeral etc, you get my drift). Whatever the occasion, a compliment can go a long way in helping people to like you and feel more comfortable around you. When someone receives a personalised compliment it makes people feel good and they will associate that good feeling with you.
Tip #3 Ask questions
When you show you are interested in someone they’re more likely to want to show interest in you. The best way to show interest in someone is to ask questions. However, if you get nervous and sometimes run out of things to say come up with some generalised questions beforehand which you can specify when you’re meeting someone new.
Well I hope I made a good first impression (oh no I’m coming off as desperate, scratch that).
So maybe you liked what you read, maybe you didn’t. I don’t care…
Anyway if you did you can check out some more good advice and fun stories from our podcast episode: Floppy Handshakes (How to make good impressions). Just follow the link below. See you there!
Written by Joe