How Classy Women Make an Unforgettable First Impression

Making a positive first impression is important, and it takes skill. Peter Economy, an expert in leadership and management at Inc. Magazine, says, “When you meet someone for the first time, they are taking a rapid inventory of your gait, your smile, your handshake and how you present yourself. As you are making your approach, they are deciding if they can trust you, if you are genuinely nice and if they want to know and work with you. So many questions are answered in those first few critical seconds based on what they see, and how you make them feel. Make those seconds count by following these tips:

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When you’re at work:

  • Be on time: Punctuality is crucial, especially in the workplace. Showing up late can cost you when you’re meeting with the new manager or have a phone call with clients. Try setting your watch ten minutes early or leaving home earlier to avoid rush hour traffic.
  • Keep body language in mind: Lisa Quast, a career coach at Forbes, says, “Practice non-verbal communication, such as shaking hands and firmly establishing good eye contact, to ensure you aren’t doing anything that could damage a good first impression.”

When you’re on a first date:

  • Talk about things other than work: Often, first date conversations revert back to what we’re most familiar with. Most of the time, that’s our job. It can be an interesting topic, but try to lighten it up by asking about hobbies, dream vacations or even the last concert your date attended. Also, don’t bring up your ex. Sophie Goddard, a relationship writer at Cosmopolitan, says, “If asked, shrug and say, ‘It didn’t work out’ without going into detail.”
  • Don’t try to be something you’re not: Forcing an attitude is easy to sense and a major turn-off. In the end, some people will like your “real” self and others won’t. Dr. Fredric Neuman, a behavior expert, says, “When trying to find someone to marry, I think it is reasonable not to engage in such a pretense. After all, you do not want to have to pose forever. Whoever you are, there is someone out there who will take one look at you and think you are terrific. That is the person you want to settle down with.”

When you’re at a party filled with strangers:

  • Be the first to speak up: A little small talk can go a long way. Even though you might feel uncomfortable around people you don’t know, but don’t shy away from breaking the ice. At the same time, keep your attitude in check–make sure the first thing that comes out of your mouth isn’t a complaint. Peter Economy says, “… simply begin by asking them, ‘How has your day been going?’ and remember to smile … your upbeat attitude and positivity will make for a great first impression.”
  • Give your full attention: One of the best things you can give a stranger is your undivided attention. People appreciate feeling valued, so keep steady eye contact and react to their words with enthusiasm. Peter Economy says, “Lean into the conversation––body language, again––to communicate that you are really listening and interested.”