When it comes to impressing people, there’s no real complex science behind it – most people are impressed by the simple things, such as good manners and a polite introduction.
But with that being said, how you present yourself and the energy you give off can make a world of difference in leaving a good taste in their mouth once the interaction is over.
So, in this article I’m going to keep things simple – here are 10 easy-to-implement ways to impress people within seconds of meeting them:
1) Offer a warm greeting
Let’s say you’re meeting the in-laws for the first time and you’re full of nerves…
It’s easy to let that get in the way of a warm, genuine greeting. You might feel like offering a quick hi, averting your gaze, and hoping for the floor to swallow you up.
But you and I both know this isn’t going to win you any favors!
So, make it a habit to be open and kind with your greetings. You don’t have to go overboard, but introduce yourself clearly, and never forget to say, “Nice to meet you” or “It’s a pleasure”.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to check your posture. Make sure you’re stood up straight, shoulders back. This makes you look inviting.
Slouching forward or leaning against a wall will give the impression that you’re not interested, tired, or bored.
2) Make sure to shake hands
Depending on the culture of the person you’re meeting, if it’s appropriate to do so, always be the first person to extend a hand.
Don’t wait for them to put theirs out first – this shows hesitancy on your part.
But if you go in bold and confident, extend your hand, and maintain a strong grip (without crushing their fingers), trust me, they’ll be impressed.
I remember practicing shaking hands as a teenager…one piece of positive feedback I’d always receive after job interviews was how strong my handshake was.
It might seem like a small thing, but in professional settings, this can really set you apart from someone who shies away or offers a limp hand to shake.
3) Maintain eye contact
Now, while you’re doing your best to warmly greet the person you’re meeting and shake their hand, don’t forget to look them in the eye!
Eye contact is incredibly important for making a good impression on people as soon as you meet them.
There are a few reasons for this; some studies have shown that when we make eye contact with others, we perceive them to be similar to us (in other words, less threatening).
There’s also believed to be a link between appearing more trustworthy when you make eye contact, as opposed to if you look away (which can be seen as “shifty”).
And finally, when you make eye contact, you’re showing interest. You’re letting the other person know you’re listening and engaged with what they’re saying – this is incredibly powerful.
4) Smile! It’s your biggest asset
Another simple way to impress people within seconds of meeting them is to smile…
Yes, it’s that easy.
When you smile, you’re more likely to come across as friendly and agreeable. You’re letting the other person know, “Hey, I’m not someone you need to be afraid of.”
All of this leaves a positive lasting impression, without even saying a word.
But a word of warning, a tight-lipped cold smile probably won’t do it.
Try smiling with your eyes as well as your lips, even if you’re faking it, it’ll come across as more genuine and inviting.
5) Pay attention
Is there anything worse than speaking to someone who’s more interested in what’s happening behind you, or even worse than that, checking their phone?
If you really want to impress people as soon as you meet them, tune in.
Be engaged. Actively listen to what they say.
You can do things like:
- Nod to show you understand
- Ask follow-up questions to show you’re listening
- Maintain eye contact to show your concentration
And definitely don’t interrupt them!
Here’s the thing, in a fast-paced world where most people are so engrossed in their technology, it’s refreshing to meet someone who is simply present in the moment and engaged in the conversation.
6) Use their name
Now, if you want to score real brownie points and impress people when you first meet them, get good at remembering names.
As someone with the memory of a goldfish, I often repeat people’s names back when they introduce themselves as a way of remembering.
Or, if you already know their name before meeting them, start the conversation by addressing them directly.
For example, you’re on a blind date. As soon as they walk in, you should stand up, extend your hand and say, “It’s great to finally meet you, Jenny” (or whatever their name is).
This melts the ice and puts the other person at ease.
7) Be calm
Are you someone who suffers from nerves when meeting people for the first time?
Don’t worry – that’s pretty normal. I’ve seen confident people buckle under the pressure of meeting someone important for the first time, so you’re certainly not alone.
However, one thing to remember if you are nervous is to breathe.
As you walk up and are getting ready to extend your hand, smile, and say hello, take a couple of deep breaths right down into your stomach. Slowly exhale.
Not only will this calm your nervous system down (which is probably going into fight or flight mode because you’re anxious) but it’ll help you speak clearer, steadier, and louder.
8) Dress appropriately
I know, I know, we live in 2023 and what we wear shouldn’t be an indication of how good a person we are or how valuable we’d be for a job.
Yet, in many places, how you dress is still seen as important for impressing people, especially when first meeting them.
That’s why I always advise doing your research first.
If you’re going to a job interview, check out what type of company it is. If it’s a new startup full of young employers/employees, you might make a better impression by going dressed smart/casual.
If it’s a traditional company, a suit or formal wear would be better.
And when it comes to meeting a blind date, in-laws, or anyone outside of the working scope?
Just make sure you’re clean, tidy, and presentable. Smell good. Make an effort with your hair and ensure your nails are neatly trimmed.
People are impressed by those who maintain themselves, so use this to your advantage!
9) Use your manners
Next up on the list of simple ways to impress people is using manners.
Now, I know most of you reading this will generally remember to say “please” and “thank you”…but it’s always good to be reminded!
For example, if someone is introducing you to their friend, it’s always polite to thank the person for making the introduction.
And manners don’t stop there – little things like holding the door open for the person you’re meeting, or letting them talk first are equally important in impressing people.
As well as showing you have consideration for others, it also displays respect and class. Both are a recipe for making a strong, long-lasting, positive impression.
10) Be punctual
And finally, if you want to impress someone within seconds, just be on time.
I know…it sounds too simple to be true, right?
Wrong. Being punctual says a lot about your personality.
It shows you value and respect the time of the other person. It also shows you’re organized enough to get there, potentially battling traffic and other delays in the process.
In fact, if you want to go above and beyond…get there five minutes early!
This shows the other party that you’re keen and enthusiastic.
So, we’ve covered 10 simple ways to impress people as soon as you meet them. These tips are all super easy to get into the habit of doing but could make a big difference in how others perceive you.
Ultimately, you should be yourself, but take into consideration the tips above if you want to put your best foot forward.
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