Tell me honestly: when you first meet someone, how long does it take you to form an impression of them?

Five minutes of good conversation, you think? Maybe 15? It turns out we’re giving ourselves a little too much credit.

One study found that people have already inferred several of your personality traits—including competence, trustworthiness, and likeability, to name an important few—just 100 milliseconds after meeting you. Another suggested that people form an opinion of you the second they hear your voice.

So, first impressions are made quickly. And, more often than not, you want to make a good one! Whether it is a job interview or a business meeting people will always judge you on first impressions. So, we have put together 6 tips of how to make a killer first impression so it’s time to put your best foot forward!

1. Be aware of your body language

Successful people are aware of the power of body language. From power posing to what you’re doing with your arms; your body is speaking for you. Use your body to create positive energy by facing yourself towards the person you are interacting with, maintaining a confident posture with your shoulders back, and avoid folding your arms or fidgeting.

2. Dress the part

Consciously or unconsciously, details such as attire, make-up, and accessories all affect our immediate impression of people, after all, in seven seconds we can only make a snap judgment based on what we see first.

Dress for yourself, but be mindful that a sloppy style can be mistaken for a sloppy attitude or work ethic. Optimize on the power of dressing confidently and invest in your style.

3. Be prepared

Do your homework and set your intentions accordingly. Familiarize yourself with who you are meeting and take the time to consider how you would best like to come across. If you want to appear confident, consider the body language and attitude you would like to dial up and be mindful of habits you may wish to avoid.

4. Master the art of small talk

To successfully make a killer first impression, you must be calm, collected and present in the moment. Worrying about what you are going to add to the conversation next can distract from what others are contributing, meaning you will seem distant and uninterested.

If you are really worried about making small talk, think of some easy to remember and general questions you can ask, so you have a few ideas in your repertoire for any gaps in conversation. This can make you feel more confident, and confident people are much easier to talk to!

5. Be genuine

Successful people make a lasting and positive impression by being genuinely polite, interested, and engaged. They understand the power of listening and processing what others around them have to say. They arrive on time, thank others, and never scroll their phone during a conversation.

6. Be confident!

To generate a good first impression, you have to make an impression. Full stop. If you’re at a networking event – be the one to strike up a conversation. People will be flattered that you’re interested in talking to them and won’t help but be impressed.

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