Good First Impression

By: Zach Stevenson

1. Do Your Research and Prepare Ahead of Time

Preparation reduces anxiety and will help you show more authority. Before an important meeting, learn everything you can about your potential client and his or her unique approach to business. Familiarize yourself with the industry in which you'll be working and brush up on current events.

2. Prep and Practice

Put the research into practice and use it to come up with topics, questions, and relevant subjects from your own life that you can start a conversation with. Don;t try to memorize everything, that will make you sound stiff and robotic like. You should find yourself nervous and grasping for something to say.

3. Look the Part

Wear something you feel good in, wear an outfit that is clean and fits you well. Most importantly be comfortable. Making a good first impression starts with being comfortable and confident in you own skin.

4. Smile

Body language is important and smiling is the most universally-recognized indication that your friendly and approachable. It helps to make a good impression when those you meet believe that you're a generally friendly and easy-to-get-along-with human being.

5. Listen effectively

Attentive listening builds trust. Throughout your meeting, ask pertinent questions. When someone else speaks, make eye contact and show you're fully engaged in what he/she is saying. Always allow others time to fully express themselves.