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9 Steps To Making A Strong First Impression

Posted April 9, 2014 by Kit Graham in Networking Buzz
You only get one chance to make a first impression. It is cheesy, but it is true. Make the most of a first impression with these tips.

  1. Smile. This is the easiest way to show that you are friendly.
  2. Firm handshake. Limp handshakes are awkward, and they make you seem less confident. Shake hands like you mean it.
  3. Maintain eye contact. Looking into someone’s eyes shows that you are engaged in the conversation.
  4. Say your full name. It’s amazing how few people do this. Always clearly state your first and last name when introducing yourself.
  5. Repeat the other person’s full name. This shows that you are paying attention, and it will help you to remember the other person’s name.
  6. Have a business card ready. Slip a few business cards into your wallet so you will always have a couple with you. If you don’t exchange business cards, you are making is very difficult for anyone you meet to follow up with you. Forgetting a business card can also make you look unprofessional.
  7. Ask questions, and listen to the answers. People enjoy talking about themselves, chances are if you ask thoughtful questions and listen to the answers, the other person will instantly like you.
  8. Close the meeting with another handshake. When it is time to say goodbye, shake hands again, and say it was nice to meet them and repeat their first name.
  9. Follow up. Reach out and follow up on your conversation to re-establish the connection.

About the Author

Kit Graham

Kit Graham is the author of The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook and thekittchen.com, a food site focused on original and practical recipes. Kit's work has been featured on Refinery 29, Eater, The Frisky, 300 Sandwiches, One Woman Shop, Break Thru Radio and The Urbaness. She is also a founding member of The Second City Food Wine + Social Club and the Windy City Blogger Collective.