216 - 3 Strategies For Making a Strong First Impression
Making a great first impression isn’t as simple as a handshake and a smile. It isn’t just about looking the part and being confident, either. No, if you really want to make a strong first impression, you need to think about what you’re actually going to say.
Here are three speaking strategies that will help you make the most of first impressions.
1. Stay concise
Have you ever met someone who thought a first meeting would be a great time for a long-winded monologue? Don’t be that person.
Being concise is a great strategy for speaking in general, and it’s especially important if you want to maximize your impact in first impressions. Speak in short, simple phrases — not long, complex sentences. Listen more than you speak. Leave them wanting to hear more from you, not less.
2. Add a personal touch
Another way you can establish a strong first impression is by adding a personal touch to an otherwise professional meeting. Nothing too personal, of course — now is not the time to ask for their thoughts on politics or religion.
But try to find a way to show them that you want to get to know them as a person, not just a position.
For example, you could ask them about where they went to college or where they grew up. If you have any connection to that area, you can mention it — that could be just the spark you need for a meaningful connection. If you can find a way to make your meeting about more than just business, you’ll be much more likely to make an impact.
3. Give them a nugget
Finally, one of the ways you can make a memorable first impression is if you can tell them something surprising or thought-provoking that sticks with them. This could be a counterintuitive statistic relevant to your industry. Perhaps you could share a piece of (legal) “inside information” they might not know.
You could even give them a “did you know” that’s completely unrelated to business. For example, did you know that people who are born blind make hand gestures just like everybody else? Surprising but true facts like that can help you add value to a first meeting in an unexpected way.
Fundamentally, first impressions are about setting the stage for long-term connection. By using these strategies, you will help ensure you get off to a great start with every new person you meet.