The first contact with any new person is a challenge to all of us. No matter how confident you might feel about yourself, there will be a point where you won’t be sure if you can make a good impression or not. And we all know how important first impressions are.
So it is OK if you feel a bit nervous before introducing yourself. And more important is the situation or the person to you, more daunting it becomes. That’s why is so common to say wrong things during a first date or a job interview.
But you shouldn’t let it stopping you from achieving your goals as there are techniques that you can apply in those contexts. You just need to take a deep breath and prepare yourself in advance so you can be prepared to put the ideas below into practice when necessary.
# 1 – Approach with a smile
Before exchanging any words, you both will look at each other. And what they should find on your face is a big smile. It will build a bridge between you and them, and leave them with the impression that you are happy to meet them – instead of feeling uncomfortable or annoyed for being there.
So offer your best smile, but, yes, it should be an honest one. Don’t try to make it broader than your usual way, or it will look forced as if you had drawn it on your face. And it will be worse than no smile at all.
# 2 – Make eye contact
Now that you have seen each other is time for you both to make eye contact. This is a tricky one so be careful here. You don’t want to make it too intense so don’t be staring at them. But you don’t want to avoid them completely. So find a middle way between it, in which you can look at them long enough so to acknowledge their presence but without posing a threat.
# 3 – Offer your hand
Except if the culture of the country where you are says otherwise, you should always offer your hand when meeting a person for the first time. Some countries go even further than that, kissing and hugging each other, but a handshake is fine in most of the cases.
Make it firm enough to show that you know where you stand, but try not to break anybody’s hand. And if you know that you get sweaty hands when you are nervous, make sure that you discretely wipe them before doing it.
# 4 – Say your name (and nothing more)
Here is where you are going to make the difference. Expect if you are in a situation where further information is mandatory, you should always introduce yourself by saying your name and that is it. Remember, that you can always get professional help from the best writing services to get it done. Even your surname should be added only during business environments, and yet, depending on the company’s culture.
After your name, you can say something simple, such as “how are you” and “nice to meet you, but that is it. Keep it short and sweet and let them free to act on the next tip.
# 5 – Welcome questions
This is the reason why you don’t need to prepare a long introduction about yourself. If the person you are meeting wants to know more about you, they will ask you have no doubt.
So let them decide, not you, what is relevant to them. Be prepared to answer questions and be happy to do so.
If they ask something that you find too personal or that you think it is not appropriate to discuss in that time or place, then decline nicely, explaining it with a smile on your face. And let them move on to the next question.
# 6 – Ask questions and listen to the answers
When you notice that they have asked their own questions, or if you feel that they aren’t going to take the lead, go ahead and ask questions yourself.
Look for topics of common interest or connect to the place you both are – you can ask their opinion about what is on the menu, or if they have played golf before (if you either are in a restaurant or golf course). And say their names here are there because it is scientifically proved that it can trigger a positive emotional response from anybody.
But the most important part here is to be ready to listen to their answers to the best that you can. So you should try and pay attention to every word and make they feel that you care about what they are saying. It will build a strong connection between you both, as you will see.
# 7 – End it nicely
Last but not least, make sure that you end the conversation as nicely as you started it. You should be attentive to when it is time to leave so that you won’t rush things away.
If it is the case of giving your contact details to them, feel free to offer them yourself. And remember to say how much you have appreciated the conversation and that you would be happy to meet them again.
It might be the last touch that will guarantee you will leave a memorable impression about yourself.