How to make a good first impression

In the working field, a good first impression can be the difference between a missed opportunity and a fruitful collaboration. Whether it’s a first sales meeting, a job interview, or an important presentation. But how do you ensure that you stand out in a good way, without resorting to clichés? Below you’ll find 5 tips to help you make an unforgettable first impression.

Tip 1: Start with an unexpected opening

Imagine beginning a presentation or sales pitch with a perfectly rehearsed elevator pitch. Do you think this will feel authentic to the listener? Instead of immediately talking about yourself, open the conversation with an intriguing question or an unexpected observation. For instance, at a networking event, a speaker began with: “Have you ever thought about how the colour of this room affects our creativity?” This breaks the ice and sets the tone for the atmosphere of the presentation.

Tip 2: Share a personal anecdote

Did you know that people remember stories better than facts? If you get the chance to talk about yourself, choose a short, relevant anecdote that reveals something about your passions or character. For example, a professional once shared how he was inspired to start his own startup during a trek through Asia. This story, which was both personal and professional, stuck and made for an unforgettable first impression.

Tip 3: Use the power of silence

In a world where everyone is trying to be heard, silence can be incredibly powerful. Therefore, dare to intentionally allow pauses during a conversation. This invites the other person to think deeper and respond, and it shows your confidence. Plus, when you use silences effectively, the words you do use get full attention.

Tip 4: Show that you have listened

A unique way to leave a good first impression is to refer back to something specific the other person said earlier in the conversation. This not only proves that you’re actively listening, but also that you value their words. “As you mentioned earlier about sustainability, I’ve had a similar experience…” This can lead to a strong connection.

Tip 5: Be helpful

At the end of a conversation, ask how you can help the other person, even if you think there’s no direct synergy. This could be something simple, like offering to connect them with someone from your network. Or make an unforgettable first impression by offering to review a project proposal, purely as a favour. This willingness to help, without direct self-interest, leaves a lasting impression.
By integrating these tips, you not only make a great first impression, you also create deeper connections and stand stronger in your professional relationships. Remember, authenticity is just as important; people are drawn to genuine, sincere interactions. So, make sure to show your true self, and you’re sure to make a positive and lasting first impression!

Do you want to give yourself or your employees more tools to improve on presentation skills, build confidence, or work on personal branding? On the online learning platform of SkillsTown, you’ll find a broad selection of online courses on these and a lot more topics.

We would love to tell you more about all the benefits of our platform for your organisation during a free online demonstration!

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