Guest post by Jaffrey Eric of Thinsquare LLC
In the same way you evaluate others on the basis of your first encounter with them, others are also going to evaluate you and your business from the way you present and conduct yourself. So making a good first impression of your business is highly crucial, and you don’t get a second chance to do it. Here are some simple tips that can help you make a good and long-lasting first impression.
1. Do Your Homework and Prepare in Advance
Business meetings are a great way to make everlasting first impressions. So you must do your homework before attending an important meeting. Gather as much information you can about the meeting, learn about the people who will be coming to that meeting and the business strategies they follow in their business.
Prepare yourself ahead of time for meeting. Familiarize yourself with the current events and issues of the industry you will be working in. This will not only reduce your anxiety, but will also help you appear knowledgeable and interesting.
2. Be Punctual
Never be late for a business meeting; your punctuality matters a lot for making an effective first impression. By being on time, you’ll show you’re responsible. Also, the few extra minutes will be an advantage as you will get the time to check your appearance before you actually walk into the meeting. It’s always recommended to schedule some extra time as the delays are possible due to traffic, weather conditions, and parking issues.
3. Prepare a Checklist
As you would be well aware of the purpose of the meeting, prepare a checklist of the things that you’ll be talking about. Though the actual points may vary depending on the situation, it will showcase your strategic planning abilities. If you don’t get a chance to talk about these points, you can mention them in the end of the meeting. Just be prepared to explain your points clearly, and keep them short.
4. Concentrate on Your Body Language
Gestures can explain a lot about you, so you must be aware of your body language. Some of the common things are making eye contact while talking to others, raising eyebrows while asking someone for an opinion or while focusing on a particular point, walking with your chest high, sitting up straight, and much more. This will keep you confident and improve your delivery.
5. Engage With Others
Don’t assume your vast knowledge alone is enough to impress someone. Instead of showing your knowledge only, you should try to engage with the other person and make him or her feel better about the discussion. Create an engaging conversation and encourage the other person to participate. Along with having an effective conversation, it will also let you know what the person is passionate about, and thereby divert the discussion accordingly.
Finally, write a personal letter of appreciation to those who attended your meeting, conveying that you have learned many new things from them. Also follow them on the social media and share their posts to ensure that the first impression sticks. In short, you must focus on what the other person is expecting from you, rather than just putting forward your points of view.
This article was originally written on January 16, 2017.