7 Ways To Charm The Pants Off Of Everyone, All The Time
First impressions count. From work events to cocktail hours, small talk is in every aspect of your day to day life. Making a great first impression at social functions can be a daunting task. According to psychologist Linda Blair, seven seconds is all it takes for us to judge someone we’re meeting for the first time. To make the seven seconds count, you’ll need an elevator pitch. Additionally, confidently present yourself. Confidence is a key aspect because when you are at ease the people you’re interacting with will also feel unguarded. Being nervous can project the same way on people, causing them to feel uncomfortable and awkward. By keeping these seven proven tips in mind, you’ll confidently conquer any meet and greet. As Will Rogers said “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
1. Punctuality. If you’re on time you’re late! These are the rules you should live by when it comes to punctuality. When you are meeting someone for the first time, the best way to show you’re reliable is if you arrive five minutes before your appointment. Already you’ve taken the initiative to plan ahead for that train delay or traffic back up to make sure you were on time for your meeting. It also shows you value their time. Since everyone is always connected and online it’s incredibly easy to send a note on behalf of your lateness. Use technology to better your punctuality instead of hinder it. Create time management habits like setting alarms or calendar reminders so you’re on top of everything.
2. Be Engaged. Once you’re in the thick of it, be attentive to the people you’re chatting with. It should be as if they’re the only people in the room. Ask questions to show your interest in what they’re sharing and try to relate back to their experiences. Eye contact is crucial, with the other person of course not your phone! Be sure not to constantly check your phone or let your eyes wander the room looking for other people who are potentially more interesting to you. It’s rude and will make the person you’re talking to feel unimportant.
3. Smile! Nothing says I’m open for business like a smile. It’s comforting, welcoming and sends off the signal that you’re approachable. It also shows you are happy to meet the person and are interested in what he or she has to say. If you think you’re forcing a smile, try to think of something pleasant to help you naturally form a smile. It’s the best ice breaker, gives off an upbeat vibe and people will know you’re fun to be around.
4. You Catch More Bees with Honey. Don’t go into a networking situation with a negative attitude. Lead with positivity, put a positive spin on negative subjects and don’t engage in trash talk! Avoid topics that can bring up controversy like politics or religion. Give the people around you the common courtesy of a pleasant encounter. People don’t want to interact with someone disinterested in everything around them.
5. Make Yourself Memorable. Your introduction should be as interesting as you! Don’t simply spit out a job title when introducing yourself, think of something clever or lead with something you’re passionate about. According to communications consultant Rae Cook, an intriguing introduction leads to curious conversation as people will want to hear further explanation on your job title. A teacher becomes a leader of great minds. Human resources becomes a keeper of office peace. Any job title can be punched up to match your great personality.
6. Know the News. When attending an event where you’ll be encountering people for the first time, get your head in the game. Know the event you’re going to and the types of people that will be there. This way you can foresee topics that might come up in conversation. Be sure to keep up on the news and show of your topical prowess. It’ll prove to be a great conversation starter and shows you care about what’s happening in the world around you. Try to avoid those controversial stories if possible!
7. Have a Sense of Humor. Nobody likes a stick in the mud. When meeting new people, one of the easiest things to bond over is a quick laugh. You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian, but you should be able to take a joke as well as some self-deprecating punches. If you don’t have a sense of humor, try to work on one. People who don’t take themselves too seriously come off as charming and more likable, which is critical if you’re trying to make that first impression stick.
This Article Originally Appeared on forbes.com