How To Make A Killer First Impression

How To Make A Killer First Impression

Whether it’s a job interview, a first date, or a networking event, making a killer first impression can open doors and create lasting connections. It’s more than just looks; it’s about presenting your best self with confidence and authenticity. So, let’s dive into some simple yet effective tips that’ll leave people thinking, “Wow, what a great person!”

1. Dress for success, but make it your own.

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We’ve all heard the saying, “dress for the job you want,” and there’s truth to that. Your attire should be appropriate for the occasion, but don’t be afraid to show your personality. Adding a unique accessory or a pop of color can make you more memorable. After all, you want to stand out from the crowd in a positive way.

2. Smile genuinely and make eye contact.

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A warm, genuine smile can instantly put people at ease and make you more approachable. Pair it with good eye contact, and you’ll convey confidence and interest in the interaction. Remember, a smile is contagious, so spread those positive vibes! It’s like offering a little sunshine on a cloudy day.

3. Offer a firm handshake (or appropriate greeting).

two men talking in cafe

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In many cultures, a handshake is the standard greeting. Make it firm, but not bone-crushing. If you’re unsure of the cultural norms, a simple nod and a friendly “hello” can go a long way. Just remember, the key is to show respect and warmth, no matter what the greeting is.

4. Remember people’s names and use them.

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It might seem like a small thing, but using someone’s name shows that you’ve been paying attention and that you value them as an individual. If you’re bad with names, try repeating it after you hear it or associating it with something memorable. You can even write it down discreetly if you need to!

5. Be a good listener and ask thoughtful questions.

two guys chatting at a cafe

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Nobody likes to feel like they’re talking to a brick wall. Show genuine interest in what the other person has to say, NBC News advises. Ask questions that show you’ve been listening and that you care about their thoughts and opinions. It’s amazing how far a simple, “That’s really interesting, can you tell me more?” can go.

6. Be confident, but not arrogant.

Two business women having a casual meeting or discussion near a modern office. Summer time.

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Confidence is attractive, but there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Be proud of your accomplishments and don’t be afraid to share them, but avoid bragging or talking down to people. Remember, humility can be just as impressive as achievements.

7. Find common ground and build rapport.

friends gossiping over coffee at cafe

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Look for shared interests or experiences. This can be as simple as talking about a recent movie you both enjoyed or a hobby you have in common. Building rapport makes the conversation flow more smoothly and leaves a positive impression. It also helps to create a sense of connection, making it easier to build a relationship.

8. Be mindful of your body language.

couple riding escalator together

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Your body language speaks volumes. Stand tall, make eye contact, and avoid fidgeting. A confident posture and open gestures can make you appear more approachable and engaging. Even a subtle smile can signal warmth and friendliness, making people more likely to want to connect with you.

9. Be positive and enthusiastic.

millennials having business meeting

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Enthusiasm is contagious! Show that you’re excited to be there and that you’re looking forward to the interaction. People are naturally drawn to positive energy, so let yours shine through. Don’t be afraid to show your passion for your work, your hobbies, or your life in general.

10. Prepare some conversation starters beforehand.

Nice meeting. Attractive lady and bearded man discussing work at rooftop cafe

If you’re feeling nervous, having a few conversation starters up your sleeve can take the pressure off. These could be questions about the other person’s interests, current events, or anything else you think might be relevant to the situation. A little preparation can go a long way in making you feel more confident and at ease.

11. Be authentic and genuine.

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People can spot a phony a mile away. Don’t try to be someone you’re not; just be yourself. Authenticity is refreshing and makes you more relatable. Share your thoughts and opinions honestly, but always be respectful of other people’s perspectives. Remember, people connect with realness, not perfection.

12. Avoid complaining or negative talk.

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As CNBC points out, negativity is a major turn-off. Nobody wants to be around someone who’s constantly complaining or dwelling on the negative aspects of life. Instead, focus on the positive and show your appreciation for the good things. A positive attitude can be infectious and leave a lasting impression on those around you.

13. Follow up with a thank-you note or email.

This date is going great!

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A simple thank-you goes a long way in showing your appreciation for the other person’s time and attention. It also reinforces the positive impression you made during your initial meeting. A handwritten note can be especially thoughtful, but an email works too.

14. Relax and have fun!

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It’s okay to be a little nervous, but don’t let it consume you. Take a deep breath, relax, and try to enjoy the interaction. When you’re relaxed and having fun, it shows, and it makes you more enjoyable to be around. So, loosen up, be yourself, and let your natural charm shine through.

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Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.