First Impressions Matter

Whether you like it or not, it only takes a few seconds for someone to form an opinion of you. They may be blown away, or they might immediately decide they don’t like you. You may be lucky enough to have an opportunity to try again, but the human brain is wired to make a judgment almost instantly.

Those first thoughts, feelings, and impressions are lasting. Let’s look at some of the ways you can make an excellent first impression.

Meeting In Person

If you are meeting someone in person, you need to consider the circumstances surrounding the event. If it’s a professional meeting, it makes sense that you dress in formal attire. Arriving at a business meeting in casual clothing is not a good start to creating a memorable first impression.

Take the time to think about who you are meeting and where the meeting will take place. If you are meeting a senior person of a company or a highly respected individual, take extra care when putting your outfit together.

In contrast, if you are meeting a junior person, then there is no need to go overboard.

Cultural Differences

Another important consideration is to find out if the party you are scheduled to meet with is from a different cultural background. Different cultures adopt practices that often differ from those you are used to.

If you are meeting with an Asian person, for example, take the time to read up on their cultural norms and how they conduct business. Some executives might prefer not to shake your hand as it’s compromising their personal space.

Profile Photos

Just like you should make an effort when meeting someone in person for the first time, your profile photo should be appropriate for its setting. If you are job hunting and sharing your profile on recruitment sites and business-related networking pages, choose your profile picture carefully.

An image of you on a beach or in the gym working out isn’t appropriate if you are trying to entice future employers. There are a variety of ideas that can help you to get top picks for a better profile pic.

Be careful not to share personal images, including young children. The internet is a vast place where sexual predators can hack into accounts and gain access to your private information and photos

Online Meetings

At the start of 2020, the entire world turned on its head with the arrival of COVID-19. People from all walks of life have fallen victim to the awful pandemic and businesses globally are under threat of collapse.

In light of these challenging times, individuals and business owners are thinking outside the box. Virtual meetings over the internet are taking place, and people are finding new, creative ways to conduct business.

Online programs and apps allow you to conduct both individual meetings and group sessions so the whole team can stay up-to-date on what’s happening.

Of course, video conferences require that you change out of your sleepwear and into something more presentable. While it might not be necessary to suit up, work attire or something not too casual will suffice.

Be Quick To Listen, But Slow To Speak

Research repeatedly picks up that anxious individuals tend to speak too much when they are nervous. They meet an individual for the first time, and the flood gates open. They can’t help themselves, so they start talking, and they don’t stop.

Make a mental note only to speak when spoken to, so that you can get an idea of what kind of person you are dealing with. You don’t want to appear too forward and overly-confident.

Listening is a valuable skill that few people possess. Make an effort to listen carefully and wait until the speaker has finished if you need to ask any questions.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is often mistaken as a sign of arrogance. In certain cultures, when a person makes eye contact with a person of the opposite sex, it‘s seen as a sign of disrespect. There are practices in several countries around the world where it’s forbidden to make direct visual contact with a person in authority or a person who is seen as your senior.

Generally speaking, intermittent eye contact shows that you are paying attention and listening to what the other person is saying.


Always try to put your best foot forward. Be polite and respectful, whether you are engaging with someone virtually or in person. The impression that you make on a person during your first encounter is the way they’ll always remember you.

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