Not obnoxious, but not under the radar either. You want to make a solid, memorable first impression.
“Ryan? Hi I’m Tony. Nice to meet you.” After a forced smile and a weak handshake, you’ve already forgotten their name. Sound familiar? Then keep reading.
Whether it’s dinner with your girlfriend’s parents or the interview for your dream job, making a standout first impression is important all the time. I’m not talking about drowning the person you’re meeting with fake laughs and insincere compliments. I’m talking about a smooth, likable introduction. Likability is one of the world’s most sought after attributes, and this is the very first step to achieving success.
1. Smile, sunshine.
A simple way to make someone fond of you is to show off those pearly whites. We all know that actions most definitely speak louder than words, and smiling says it all. “I like you. You make me happy. I’m glad to see you.”
Tons of people constantly wear a dreary face that expresses apathy and disinterest; so flex those 17 muscles it requires and let the person know that you’re actually glad to make contact. Ever wonder why we love dogs so much? It’s because they’re so damn happy to see us all the time. So channel your inner puppy and be happy that you’re meeting someone new.
2. Remember the person’s name, and use it when speaking.
I know I know, you’re ‘the worst’ at remembering people’s names. But guess what? Forgetting names is caused more by lack of focus and effort than some hereditary brain deficiency you think you have. A person’s name is the sweetest thing they can hear, and it’s the most important word to them.
Simply put, using someone’s name holds a ton of bearing on their level of respect towards you. So when you meet the CEO or your boyfriend’s dad, square your shoulders, shake their hand, make strong eye contact, and focus on their name when they make the introduction. You’ll be surprised at how far a little concentration can go.
3. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests. You’re not that interesting to them.
The deepest desire in human nature is the craving to be appreciated, and it’s this desire that separates us from the animals. Even though you may have climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest or spent a year in a sailboat, the accomplishments and interests of the other person are world’s more important to them. When you first meet someone it is important to make them feel important so give them what they want: attention!
If you know he or she is an avid golfer, ask what their favorite course is. If you know he or she went to Thailand last month, bring it up. The truth is, everyone you meet will feel superior to you in some way. Let them realize in a quiet way that you recognize their importance. Do this sincerely. Discuss shared interests with this person and bring up accomplishments that you genuinely admire.
If you can master these three easy to remember tactics when you meet someone, your likability is going to rise like iPhone sales in 2007. Always think in terms of what you would like to see when you’re meeting someone for the first time, and treat this person the way you would want to be treated. A calm demeanor won’t hurt you either; you wouldn’t want the charisma of an over-caffeinated Starbucks barista screaming “HOW ARE YOU TODAY?” killing your buzz.
Smile, remember your new acquaintance’s name, and lead the subject of small talk to them. You’ll see results very quickly. Whether it means killing the interview and landing the job, or the winning over the approval of a boyfriend’s dad, you really can’t screw it up if you follow this easy set of rules.