10 Ways to Make a Good First Impression

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© Sylvia Henderson. All rights reserved.

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Handshake. Regardless of gender, make your handshake firm, dry, and warm.
Why? A solid handshake is welcoming and conveys confidence.

Attire. Dress for—or above—the situation.
Why? When you dress like the position or condition you seek, you convey that you are already prepared for that position.

Conformity. Conform for first impressions.
Why? The time for creativity is after you achieve your goal and are in a position to “be you” (more creative).

Grooming. Neat and clean work in any situation. Start your encounters well-groomed.
Why? Whether you paint houses, flip burgers, or enter a corporate boardroom, when you begin well-groomed you are likely to be more accepted and respected than if you are poorly groomed.

Presence. Walk into a room or stand on stage as if you own your space.
Why? You project confidence when you act as if the space you occupy is yours, even temporarily. When you project confidence, people believe what you say and trust your information.

Body language. Walk, stand, and sit using good posture.
Why? Your body language has a direct influence on the presence you exude.

Speech. Enunciate, pronounce correctly, and use good grammar.
Why? Your speaking skills convey a level of education not necessarily by the grade in school you completed but by your worldliness and how much you pay attention to learning and self-education.

Language skills. Use proper language. Learn to speak the language of the people to whom you wish to make a positive impression.
Why? You convey that you care enough to communicate well to your audience, and you project a level of education that extends beyond formal “book learning”.

Conversational skills. Pre-plan three topics or beginning questions (open-ended) that engage people in conversation.
Why? Many people are uncomfortable with speaking to people they just meet. When you comfortably initiate a conversation you put others at ease, making you more approachable and open to opportunities.

Representation. You represent your organization when people know you by your associations, or when you wear or carry logoed items identifying your organization. Act accordingly.
Why? People do business with people—and organizations—they trust. How you represent yourself transfers to what your organization stands for. An organization’s brand is its most valuable asset. You are an extension of your organization’s brand in the eyes of customers and clients.

About Sylvia Henderson and Springboard Training

Sylvia Henderson is the founder and principal of Springboard Training, LLC. She has more than 35 years of leadership and training experience with Fortune 500, Technology, Government, Association, Nonprofit, and Education organizations. Springboard Training provides seminars, training programs and materials, job aids, keynote speakers, continuing education and media resources that help people and organizations show they are as great as they say they are. Their branded model is called Pathways to Positioning©, integrating personal presence, interpersonal skills, and behavioral competencies encompassing the perception + performance = position success equation for individuals and organizations. For more information, complementary resources, and to have Sylvia Henderson work with you, visit www.SpringboardTraining.com, e-mail Sylvia@SpringboardTraining.com, or call (202) 642-BGR8.
Blog: www.Blog.SpringboardTraining.com. Twitter: SuccessLanguage.