As the business world slowly reopens post-Covid, many people are finding the need for in-person connections for job interviews, first day on the job, career fairs or maybe networking events. Whatever the reason for your face-to-face interactions, be prepared to make your connection a standout exchange. Here are six steps to help you make quality first impressions as you approach others.
Stand during an introduction- Unless you are at the dining table or have some impairment that might cause difficulty doing so, you should stand. It is not only a professional thing to do; it’s a courteous gesture that shows respect to the other person. It lets the other person know you are eager to meet them.
Smile – It improves your face value! A smile is a universal language. You may be wearing a designer dress or a custom-tailored suit, but a warm smile is a valuable and positive feature that will add volumes to your appearance. It lets others know you are friendly.
Make Eye Contact – Avoid looking down at the floor or the scenery behind the person. Look people in their eyes during an introduction and when holding a conversation with them. It helps build your confidence and shows your interest in others—many people with low self-esteem struggle in this area. If you need help, try this tip; when talking with someone, look at the bridge of the person’s nose. It looks like you are still looking into their eyes.
Shake Hands – It shows excellent manners to shake hands with the person you meet. Shake with your right hand, which is acceptable by most cultures globally.
Shake for approximately 2-3 seconds or two up and down hand pumps. No wimpy wilted fish handshakes and no bone-crushing ones either! If you tend to have clammy hands, dry them before shaking someone’s hand. Keep a handkerchief or tissue in your hand for a quick dry-off before a shake. No one wants to shake a wet hand.
Say Your Name – Say both your first and last names. If you have an honorific or title such as Dr. or Mrs. or a designation such as PhD, M.D., or Esq., avoid using it for yourself while making general introductions. Just give your name. You may use the honorific if necessary in the introduction, such as a doctor meeting a patient’s family for the first time.
Repeat Their Name – When introduced, repeat the person’s name to make sure you pronounce it correctly. It also helps you remember their name and makes the other person feel respected. When parting, repeat their name and let them know it was a pleasure meeting them. If you forget a person’s name, apologise, and ask them to repeat their name for you. By the way, if someone mispronounces your name, kindly correct them. No harm done.