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Making a Favourable First Impression -- Seven Quick Tips By Oma Edoja

There's always a first time to meeting people. We want to do it right, and be remembered for good. Here are seven quick tips to increase your chances. Do it right the first time. Get started right away!

* Be in control of your actions. Be aware of them and their possible effects. What image would you portray if, for instance, you yawned without covering your mouth, or scratched your head (or anywhere else!) every five minutes?

* Be well prepared and look well prepared. Rehearse your speech/meeting/sales pitch etc several times. Practice using your props and equipment. Have emergency measures planned in case the unexpected happens. Write down any questions you might want to ask. Practice answering those you could be asked. Preparedness not only portrays competence, it boosts your confidence and self-esteem.

* Be punctual. This shows that you value your time and others’. It is a sign of self-discipline and order.

* Smile, confidently! A sheepish grin has a negative effect. Look people in the eye as you smile at them. And be sure that your smile reveals good oral hygiene.

* Practice good grooming and appropriate dressing. Every detail counts. Have you ever been in the company of a Very Important Person, admiring him/her from afar, only to be put off when up close, by unsightly nails, unpolished shoes or (horrors!) garlic-breath?!

* Give a firm handshake, not a weak frightened one! A firm handshake portrays strength of character. A weak one does the opposite. Look people in the eye, smile and be confident. You're allowing them the honour of meeting you!

* Think on your strengths, those things you do well. Dwell less on your weaknesses, if at all. Think on past successes. Tell yourself you can do it again. Actively boost your self-esteem everyday. We all have positive points, talents and useful skills. We are all valuable, in different ways.

All of the above will make you feel good about yourself. When you do, you pass the good feeling on to others. They’ll feel good about you too, which is what making a favourable first impression is all about!

Copyright 2005 Oma Edoja

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