Whether you’re interviewing for a job or meeting people on the street, you only get one chance to make a first impression. People form their initial opinions of others extremely quickly, which some experts saying that you have just seven seconds to make a great impression on those you meet. If that first impression is positive, you’re in. If the first impression isn’t so great, though, that can be a very difficult thing to fix.
You know all of those things, though, and that’s why unfamiliar social and business situations cause severe anxiety for so many people. You’re afraid that you won’t look right or won’t act right. You fear that, at any moment, someone will notice that you don’t have it together and will expose you as a fraud.
Does all of this sound familiar?
Well, there are two big secrets about making a great first impression on everyone you meet.
The first is that everyone else is just as afraid of being exposed as you are. Just about everyone on the planet secretly fears that they could be called out as a fraud at any time – so you definitely aren’t alone there.
The second secret about making a great first impression is that you can make people think that you’ve got it together even when the reality is exactly the opposite. Making a great first impression isn’t a matter of being better looking or having more money than the next person – it’s simply a matter of being open and confident and projecting the right outward appearance.
Here’s how to do it.
Have Your Clothes Tailored for a Perfect Fit
One of the reasons why clothing is so affordable is because manufacturers produce it in standard sizes. Small, medium, large, extra-large – just choose your size and buy the item off of the rack. The problem, though, is that while clothing comes in a few standard sizes, people do not. That’s why the wealthy pay to have their suits or dresses custom-made. If your clothing fits perfectly, you’ll automatically make a better first impression because you’ll appear more composed.
Buying bespoke clothing from a tailor is more affordable than you might think. If you’re in the market for a great business suit, tuxedo or dress, that’s a piece of clothing that you can conceivably wear for years. It’s worth the little bit of extra money to buy something that fits you perfectly and is designed to last.
Even if bespoke tailoring isn’t in the budget for you, though, almost anyone can afford to have their most important items of clothing altered for a better fit. Clothing that fits properly looks better and is more comfortable to wear. When you know that your outfit accentuates the best aspects of your body and minimizes your shortcomings, it’ll automatically increase your self-confidence.
Make Sure You Always Smell Great
If you don’t smell great, it’s going to be hard to make a great first impression on people regardless of how well composed your appearance might be. When it comes to making a great impression, if people want to stand near you, you’re halfway there.
The first thing you need to know about smelling great is that there is no fix for the smell of stale tobacco smoke. If you smoke, quit. If you can’t quit, go to a site like Premium Vape Japan and buy a vape kit. Quitting is hard, but just about anyone can switch to vaping without much trouble.
Next, make sure that your breath is on point. A pack of strong breath mints or a bottle of breath spray can be a must-have accessory for those times when you can’t sneak away for a quick tooth brushing session.
Finally, it’s worth the expense to invest in a really great perfume or cologne. Buy a scent that projects well and apply it sparingly. You want to wear a scent that intrigues people and draws them in, but the scent shouldn’t be so powerful that it’ll overwhelm others in a small room. White floral and slightly musky scents are appropriate for women in almost all situations. Citrus and aquatic scents almost always work well for men. Go easy on scent notes like tobacco, leather and patchouli.
Use Open Body Language
Using open body language helps you to avoid giving others the impression of being guarded or closed off. Stand up straight and try to avoid slouching. Make open gestures instead of crossing your arms. Lean in rather than leaning away. Maintain eye contact as much as possible without giving others the impression that you’re staring. When in doubt, mimic the body language that you see.
Be an Active Listener
In conversation, it’s important to be an active listener and to make others feel as though you value what they have to say. Many people spend most of their time in conversation just waiting for their turn to talk. If you indulge those people a little, they’re going to love you. When you speak, show that you’re listening actively by responding directly to what others say. Minimize your use of filler words like “um” and “ah.” Avoid “uptalking” or raising the pitch of your voice at the ends of sentences; it gives people the impression that you’re not confident about what you’re saying.
Keep Your Phone in Your Pocket
The last thing anyone wants to feel in a conversation is that they’re talking to someone with something more important on their mind – and the truth is that, if you’re looking at your phone while you speak to someone, you’re not really being an active listener. If you want to make a great first impression, you need to make others feel important. Keep your phone in your pocket.
There is nothing in the world that looks better on you than a smile – and a smile isn’t just the perfect way of completing your look. When you think about it, smiling can also be a subtle way of improving your standing in any situation because people tend to mimic the body language that they see. If you smile, it lifts your mood and improves the way you feel about your current situation. If you smile around others, they’re likely to smile as well – and, in the process, their moods will improve. If you want to make a great first impression, it’s often as simple as smiling.