As the saying goes, you only have one opportunity to make a great first impression. In fact, people form a judgment about you in less than a minute of meeting you based on the way you look, what you wear, how you speak, and what you say. Here are some tips for making a great first impression.

Your Appearance
Having a great appearance and good grooming can make you look and feel like an influential and confident person. Wear clothes and accessories that are both comfortable and attractive. Also, make sure that you find out how you should dress to events before attending them so that you don’t overdress or underdress.

Remember to Smile!
Smiling is important for any event, especially when meeting someone new. When you smile, people see you as friendly and more trustworthy. When you meet someone, give them a friendly smile and make eye contact. This will not only make the person feel more comfortable but also those around them.

Others will become more open to approaching you as well when they see that you are friendly. Many people are uncomfortable with meeting new people, so think about how you can make them feel more at ease with meeting you and others.

Joining People and Groups
When you are at an event, it is nice to approach and start a conversation with the person who is standing alone and hasn’t found anyone to talk to. When approaching a group to talk to, it is best to approach groups of three because groups of two may be having a private conversation. When someone is trying to join a group that you are in, step back to open up the circle.

Things to Talk About
One of the challenges of meeting someone new is being unsure about how to start and continue the conversation. Here are some ideas:

1. Briefly, introduce yourself, say where you are from and comment on something such as the food or the city that the event is being held at.
Instead of telling people what you do, try telling them the benefit of what you do, which will prompt questions.

2. Explain how you know the host and how you found out about the event.

3. After speaking about yourself, ask “And how about you?” This gives people the opportunity to discuss what they want to themselves.

4. If you notice something that you like about someone, such as their hat, tell them and ask them a question about it to encourage conversation.

5. Talk about food-related topics such as favorite restaurants and recipes.

6. Talk about something interesting you have read, seen, or experienced recently.

Ralph White
Business Coach, Author, Artist & CEO
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