By now, there have been volumes of texts written about the power of first impression. And truly, even though some of these claims may be exaggerated, the fact remains that once you fail at making a striking first appearance, this baggage can hang around your neck for quite some time.
However, while personal occasions may give you plenty of time to repair your personal image, failing to make a strong first impression at a business meeting or some other corporate event may cost your company a lucrative deal or damage your career prospects.
Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen with these couple of useful strategies.
Try to always be on time
If personal branding is one huge building that keeps growing over time being punctual definitely sets the foundations this construction can stand on. No matter what you do or how well you manage your body language and mannerisms or how well you are dressed, all these efforts will fall on deaf ears if you are not able to fulfill something as basic as getting to the meeting on time. Ideally, should come early and spend the time prior to the event chatting with the group, breaking the ice, and making new acquaintances.
This is yet another excellent way to demonstrate you are a true professional people would like to do business with. So, take a couple of days prior to the meeting you are going to attend and do your best to research all the topics and issues that are going to be covered. While you are doing that, try to take a broader approach and learn, and don’t focus solely on the agenda you intend to go through. Throwing in some facts about the industry and state of the economy will always score you a couple of easy points.
Dress for the occasion
You know how they say, clothes make the man. Keep in mind, though, that the business world is rapidly changing and the old norms may not necessarily be applicable across the board. Of course, while some of the occasions will still require a sharp suit, elegant dress, or some formal attire, less formal meetings will allow you to be a bit looser and land points with striking details like stylish cowhide handbags or washed denim. Research the audience and the type of event and then choose your garment accordingly.
Present your best self
When they need to make a strong first impression people far too often try to change their demeanor, behavior, and personality. While these tactics do sometimes work, it’s not really sustainable and your associate will quickly start noticing the cracks in your act. The truth, on the other hand, is that you feel most comfortable, focused, and confident when you are in your own skin. Sure, you should always try to present your best possible self. But, if you want to appear composed, you simply need to be yourself.
Remain positive and attentive
That doesn’t mean you should try to appear aggressively light-hearted or goofy. But, try to keep a calm and positive attitude even if you are talking about serious issues. These are qualities of good leaders that don’t easily succumb to pressure. While you are doing that, pay attention to what people are saying and acknowledge their opinions. Being an active listener is not always easy but it can be trained with some practice. Demonstrating these traits, however, will instantly make you a natural group leader.
So there it is – the top five simple strategies that will help you to use your next corporate meeting to make a strong first impression and push your career one step forward. The present-day business world is very fast-paced and relentless. With the things as they are, we have very little room to fix the image problems we made along the way. Follow the tips we gave you and you will make sure that is never the case.