How to make an exceptional first impression is sought by most of us as even researchers pointed out that the first impressions often last for months and affect one’s personal judgment. Even if there is some evidence against that impression, some theories suggest that we make judgments about someone’s trustworthiness in the first few seconds of the interaction.
A better-researched term would be “The primacy effect”, which further suggests that we are more inclined to remember the initial information as compared to the rest of it.
Hence, it is clear that first impressions are a crucial factor for both personal and professional lives. So, how to build an exceptional first impression? The most basic aspect could be how you present yourself, including how you are dressed and your communication style. To do this, think about an occasion and the suitable dress code for it before actually attending such an important event.
Furthermore, understanding and better formulating your communication skills also help in having an enhanced first impression, this involves working on your body language as well as listening skills. To boost your listening skills,
- Try to use the speaker’s name during the conversation
- Rephrase the speaker’s discussion to acknowledge your understanding of the discussion.
- Use verbal cues with phrases such as, Tell me more, What happened first? What happened next? and so on
Body language impact on impression formation is thoroughly studied by researchers, a few common body language cues agreed by most of the researchers, include standing tall, making eye contact, smiling, and greeting others with a firm handshake. To ensure that you make the best handshake, try simply rubbing your hands together to make your palm a little warm and dry before you meet someone important.
Similarly, using personal open-ended follow-up questions that go deeper than surface-level helps to form an impression by making the speaker talk about themselves which further creates positive feelings in their brain and leaves them with a positive impression about you. Also, it can be used when you feel stuck in a conversation and need to divert the topic a little.