5 Simple Steps to Creating a Great First Impression
Introductions can be a bit tough, whether it is socially or in business. People can make rather abrupt decisions on persons based on first impressions only. While the first impression does not have to be the only impression one has of you, it is hard to erase them quickly. Thus, one of your obvious goals should always be to make a fantastic first impression. Thankfully, there is a way to help bolster your first impression before you have to say a single word. That is the pre-impression introduction. When you have a proper introduction, people can already have a positive impression of you before you have even met them.
# 1 Master The Unspoken Rule of Introductions
It is not known by all, but many (especially in business) know how to give a proper introduction for another person. You should not simply state their name, position, and general standing. Instead, you must learn how to give an introduction to why this person should be talked to. There are no set rules on how best to do it. Just remember, a good introduction should be 100% positive, informative, and enticing to whomever you are giving the intro to. The most important rule is perhaps to ensure that the information about the person is interesting. Do not give yawn-inducing introductions like so-and-so is left handed or prefers to part their hair to the left. Say something that is actually worth mentioning. If you are not capable of giving an informative introduction, then at least make it an emphatic one or a humorous one. Think of what type of introduction you would want for yourself, and then apply the same principle for the person you are introducing. Knowing how to introduce others properly is the first step to creating a great first impression of yourself.
#2 Knowing What Works for You as Leading Introductions
The next step is to know what kind of leading introduction works for you. By “leading” we mean to say that the information that is given leads to possible conversations. For instance, if you are the head of a sales department and also partake in marathons, your intro can go something like: “This is X, he’s the leading sales director of his company, and just participated in the state marathon.” Notice that this introduction automatically makes people to want to know more about you. Like, what is it that you sell? Even more intriguing to them is the fact that you are a trained athlete AND sales director. Almost anyone will have at least one question ready for you if they know these facts about you. This is a far superior introduction to “This is [Name].” To which any person can simply ignore or brush off. In this way, leading introductions are far superior to simply walking your way through groups or social situations.
#3 Using a Wingman for Introductions
You may have noticed that getting others to be “dying to meet you” takes an accomplice. You certainly cannot run into a room of people and shout, “Introducing Me! I am….” As it will not only seem ridiculous, but more than a tad insane. The leading introduction is most effective when used in a buddy system. Make sure your buddy knows what to say and how to introduce you, and you will do the same for him. This is easy to establish with friends as well as in a business setting. In both scenarios, this is called “the wing man.” The Wingman is the person who will talk you up at every possible opportunity. The idea behind the Wingman is that hearing impressive information about you sounds better when it is from somebody else. Nobody likes a braggart, but everyone is excited to talk to someone that they have “heard so much about,” prior to meeting him/her.
#4 Pay it Forward
Do not worry if you do not have a set Wingman. Instead, look to cultivate the leading introductions in your social group or business by simply creating a pay-it-forward system. In other words, simply begin to use the leading introductions for others and explain to them to do the same. By cultivating a culture of leading introductions, you will create a community or business atmosphere that gives you fantastic introductions everywhere you go. The idea is to do for others with an introduction, what you would want done for you. By showing others how effective and productive a leading introduction can be, you also show others how they should act. It simply follows the logic of “leading by example.”
#5 Deciding What You Should Include in Your Intro
Knowing what goes into your introduction takes one part planning and one part improvisation. When deciding what your Wingman should introduce you with, think about whom you will be interacting with. Remember that it is not what you think is interesting, but rather what interests others. Your comic book collection will not matter one bit to a stock-trader who collects expensive cars. Your interest in expensive cars will not help with an introduction to an environmentalist. Planning what catches people’s attention is sometimes hit and miss, but by knowing who you are selling your persona to, you can narrow down your options. The improvisational element comes from what the Wingman hears during his conversation prior to the leading introduction. When you are playing wingman, look for any intro that can lead into a leading introduction. If a person is talking about his love for fishing and your Wingman has just recently returned from a fishing trip, use that opportunity and fact to lead into his introduction. Hopefully, your Wingman will be good enough to do the same for you.
Image credited to cnn.com; idiva.com
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