Let’s face it. It’s a fact that you have a higher chance of success if you present yourself better than the next person. There are a lot of studies that prove it: first impressions count and are often called the point of no return. So all you have are a few seconds (7 to be precise) to nail it or blow it.
“First impressions are made within nano-seconds, And depending on what’s visible, first impressions involve the face, hair, posture, stance, facial expression, grooming, and clothing, including appropriateness for occasion, style, and cleanliness.” says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, professor of Psychology. So how can you make sure to start off in the right direction? What should you actually say? And what's the best way to dress for success? Let’s find out!
Let Your Body Language Be Your Superpower
“If you aren’t memorable, you’re forgotten. People buy into the presentation of you before they ever believe in, buy from or invest with you.” says Mike Calhoun, CEO of Board of Advisors. And a confident body language is the way to earn a place in someone’s memory. Whether you are nervous or confident, it shows. Think about it when Michelle Obama walks in any room or onto a stage, she commands it, it's not just because she is an excellent speaker or she dresses well but also because she walks in like she owns the place. Test drive a power pose before walking into an interview or a meeting and let the confidence wash over you. Keep your head high, back straight and be prepared to look powerful.
Master The Art Of Communicating
There is a lot of power in good conversation. So to draw the other person in you have to speak clearly and with an even tone, and listen to what they have to say. Slang and filler words like “umm” or “so” should be avoided as they make you seem less knowledgeable. If you need time to compose your thoughts, it’s better to pause than fumble. “Like it or not, people will judge you before you say a word. Once you do speak and act, those judgments impact how your words and actions are received.” says Mark Bloom, president at Networth realty.
Dress The Part
A major part of making a powerful first impression is dressing correctly for the occasion. Know the appropriate way to dress so you are not underdressed or overdressed. If you are giving a presentation you should command their ears and not their eyes. So wear something clean and crisp which is polished but not overwhelming. Dresses like the Nivruti and Faye will do the trick. For a social event you should play with proportions and mix the comfort of a wide legged trouser with the Hima blouse. You can throw on a blazer if you want. This is a reliable combo which will get you through any networking event where you are new and anxious.
Pay Attention To Details
Every little detail counts when you want to make a good first impression. It could be a conversation-starting piece of jewellery, your style of hair, your nails or even your perfume choice. People notice these tiny details and register them. “My biggest tip is to be well groomed. Make sure you have clean hair and nails and don’t look messy.” says Tamara Mellon co-founder of Jimmy choo.
And Most Important Of All, Be Punctual
This is simply non-negotiable. Do not be late! In fact you should be early as it gives you extra time to relax and get yourself in a positive frame of mind. You will be focussed and confident and will definitely nail your first impression. But what if your car breaks down? Or you forget some documents? You will get late. So it’s better to be prepared for almost anything in advance. Before you leave the house make sure you have all the important documents, enough time to reach the location and yes, wear shoes that are super comfy for walks.
So the next time you are meeting someone new, whether it's in an interview or a social event, don't forget to wear your confidence, knowledge and transparency. If you are being true to yourself then you’ll feel in control no matter what. And don't forget that smile of yours, I’ve heard it's a charmer.