How to Make a Great First Impression Tips and Techniques

Wow! Overwhelmed with the brilliance. We have a great (and smart) community.

My tip is to breathe comfortably, and low (in the belly) and remember to pause as we speak.

Here are 38 more valuable tips and techniques to make a great first impression.

1. Cut the Small Talk

Get past small talk as soon as possible. Everyone hates chit-chat about the weather, or “how often they come to these kinds of events." Instead, tap into people's passions by asking open-ended questions about their hobbies, trends in their industry, or how they got into their business. Having a real conversation, rather than stilted “cocktail party talk,” puts people at ease and creates meaningful connections.
Thanks to: Dorie Clark of Clark Strategic Communications.

2. Confidant in what i don't know

Speak confidently about what you know, and speak even more confidently about the things that you are looking forward to learning.
Thanks to: Khaleed Juma.

3. Preparation = Respect

PREPARATION. Learn as much as you can about the person. Then initiate your discussion with either 1) talking about something that they will appreciate your acknowledging (their winning an award, having a great year,etc),and/or 2) identifying your common touchpoints (went to same school,grew-up in the same part of the country, similar business background,etc). It will be clear that you \"did your homework\", which in essence shows your respect for the other person. That makes a great first impression.
Thanks to: Mitch Pisik of Breckwell Products.

4. Dress in a distinctive style!

Dress in a distinctive style to impress the clients you plan on servicing. By knowing your audience you can gear your dress level to their comfort factor, which is a power suit might not be the best style for the Californian start-up crowd. Also, have a distinctive element to your dress, be it a unique broach, tie, jacket, or shoes that will set you apart in a line up of similarly dressed professional.
Thanks to: Dave Williams of The Idea Vault.

5. Genius First Impression Tip

We modeled top salespeople and found they held a thought in their mind before they would call or meet a person. They would say to themselves:

-"I really like you!!!"
-"I can make you look great!"
-"I can do this person a favor."

Top salespeople run an internal dialogue in their minds, which then links up to their body posture. So their whole demeanor (thoughts, expression on their face, tone of their voice, etc.) mirrors their thoughts and makes them appear inviting and friendly.
Thanks to: Taryn Voget of Everyday Genius Institute.

6. Bodily Harm

As much as 93% of communication can be non-verbal so creating Empowering First Impressions is critical to one's success. Within seven seconds of meeting you someone is deciding how smart, credable,confident and trust worthy you are. This is a lot to give away. What is your body saying about you?

1. Posture- Shoulders back, head high and a smile while looking into teh eyes of the person you are meeting.
2. Handshake- Must be firm
3. Clothing- One size does not fit all.Brand your image !
Thanks to: Sara Canuso of A Suitable Solution.

7. The eyes have it!

Here's one of the most powerful, yet overlooked "tricks" for making a good first impression:

Make eye contact. This is hard for some people because not only are they often uncomfortable looking at people directly, they can also be distracted by other things around them.I suggest you look at the person when you first start to speak; then, look near the person’s eyes (one side of the nose or other usually works), then as you’re completing what you have to say, make eye contact again.
Thanks to: Corinne Gregory of SocialSmarts.

8. Be Appropriate

My one business tip for making a great first impression is to be appropriate and free of distractions that would distort your message. Sometimes we try so hard in the way we dress, communicate and what we share about ourselves that we end up creating more of a distraction and unable to get our message across.
Thanks to: Monica Cost of Evidently Assured.

9. Do Your Homework!

The first step to making a good first impression is to do your homework. Learn about people through Internet searches, news articles, social media etc., so that you can “impress” someone with something you have learned about them, especially something you might have in common or something that is genuinely interesting about that person. It shows that you are prepared and have taken the time to learn about the person.
Thanks to: Rich Greif of Everybody Wins! USA.

10. Be Unforgettable - 7 Nuggets

1. Make immediate eye contact; stay focused
2. Offer a sincere handshake (no limp fish)
3. Repeat person’s name in conversation first 30-seconds
4. Stand tall or sit straight yet natural
5. Smile sincerely (body language says everything)
6. Be inquisitive; ask questions; actively listen
7. Make person glad he or she met you - give for joy of it.
Thanks to: Carolyn Smith of Magnus & Co..

11. The Golden Rule of Networking

The most important rule that everyone always forgets when trying to remember all the different things they're trying to remember: Be sincerely interested in people! Be excited about meeting some one new. Be optimistic about the possibility of having a new friend in the world.
Thanks to: Arash Afshar of Artist & Creative Consultant.

12. Winning First Impression Tip

The single best tip I know for making a great first impression is simply this:

Be every bit as interested in the person you’re meeting as you’d like them to be interested in you.
Thanks to: Barry Maher of Barry Maher & Associates.

13. Find and Wear Your Best Colors

I’m an image consultant and author of 2 books. I’ve helped teach classes for the local job center. It’s hard to give just one tip. Wearing your best colors is important. Choose the ones that make your skin glow and your eyes sparkle. You want to look healthy and vibrant. Not everyone is good at evaluating colors. I can do it for you over the internet with digital photos or you can follow the instructions in my Custom Wardrobe book. Please see the table of contents on my site.

Thanks to: Barbara DesChamps of Chateau Publishing.

14. It's All In The Firm Grip

What makes a great first impression is a strong, firm handshake, while looking the person directly in the eyes. It shows that you are confident, strong and eager. Don't kill the person's hand, but be firm. A handshake is the first way a person gets to know you, and a good handshake and eye contact will leave them remembering you, and have them wanting to hear more from you.
Thanks to: Samantha Lefkowitz of Freelance.

15. Listen More Than You Talk!

The fastest and easiest way to make a great first impression is not to worry about what impression you are making -- this puts the focus on you! Instead, when you first meet someone, put your attention on that other individual. Listen more than you talk. Ask questions and allow the other person to reveal themselves. Find out what interests they have, what they care about and what they want to talk about. Learn about that person before you dive in to try and make a great impression!
Thanks to: Beverly Flaxington of The Collaborative.

16. Checked the mirror lately?

My one best tip for making a great impression: Respect your audience - esp when you're on their home turf.

A prominent local ad agency lost the opportunity to acquire a major account because of the way they dressed when they showed up for a pitch at a conservative establishment. As the potential client's representative said, "They came in with their midriffs bare and worn-out, holey if we should have been honored to have them give us the time of day." They never got to pitch again.
Thanks to: Judith Brown of J Blair Brown Consulting.

17. Meeting Your New BBF

Want to make a great first impression? It's simple: Show the person you are meeting that he or she is important to you by smiling, maintaining eye contact with him or her and speaking to your new friend as if he/she is someone you've admired and wanted to meet for a long time. Perhaps your new BFF? (The more animated you can be, the better --without overdoing it!)

Extend your hand for a quick handshake and as you talk with the person, be sure to ask questions that show your interest.

Thanks to: Kathie Martin of The Etiquette School of Birmingham.

18. First Impressions 101

Have everything you wear from wardrobe to makeup work with you and not as independent entities unto themselves - the color on her lips arrived at the meeting before she got there, the interview was all about his tie. Look put together & in sync, not fragmented & distracting.

The moment one walks thru the door to be interviewed, the interview has begun!

Thanks to: Jill Kirsh of Jill Kirsh Color.

19. Watch the Eyebrows

I would look at their eyebrows. If the eyebrows are low set they are informal and easy to approach. If the eyebrows are set high, they appreciate good manners and protocol.

Thanks to: Kathy Thompson.

20. First Impression

One of my best tip to make a first great impression is to go in with the goal to help, to share, to be of service. It creates an immediate attraction around you. People will be "pulled" toward you.
Thanks to: Norman Lacasse.

21. Making a Great First Impressio

There are so many ways to favorably impress someone the first time you meet. I think a really big one is to give great handshake. I detest a floppy fish or bone crusher and will go out of my way to avoid them in future. But if someone applies a firm pressure and smiles as they look me in the eyes, I\'ll seek them out in the future to introduce them to friends and colleagues.
Thanks to: Phyllis Harber-Murphy of More Than 9 2 5 Virtual Assistance.

22. Making Great First Impression

Seek to understand the other person's needs and interests and incorporate that into your presentation. (For example, if you are looking for a job, you need to target your pitch to the recruiter/employer/networking contact)

Thanks to: Bettina Seidman of SEIDBET Associates.

23. First Impressions

Ask questions and listen - show genuine interest. If you have an opportunity to make note of something they say that allows you to share a common interest or knowledge in some area, do it. Depending on the circumstances and reason for meeting, do your homework on the person or event you are attending. People are interested in people of like causes and beliefs. Don't do all the talking - do twice the listening! Speak favourably of other people if you speak of anyone else at all.
Thanks to: Kellie Auld of Simply Communicating.

24. The Art of Saying Hello

Make a standout impression is to have the best business cards in the room. Just having a terrific card opens the conversation up to questions about who created the design, etc. So you\'re engaging with the person you want to know, and your snappy new card helped to make a favorable impression and open up the conversation.
Thanks to: Leslie Ann Akin of Lake Oswego Graphics.

25. No-cost first step

Smile a sincerely friendly smile.
Thanks to: Ernest Adams of Ernest Adams, Connecticut JP.

26. The clothes DO make the man!

In this day of shorts-and-flip-flops-work-for-anywhere, it's refreshing to see business people dressed for business. Suits are never out of style, and good quality always shows. They can make you look more successful, established, & wealthy the minute you walk in the door. They get you better service in stores, restaurants, & when traveling. They can get you promoted or win you the client. So follow Barney Stinson's advice and "Suit up!" for business.
Thanks to: Lynn Thompson of

27. Tips For Professional Growth

One best tip(s) for making a great first impression for a professional.

  • It's about relationship building.

  • God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak

  • Always ask questions that pertain to the other person. People love to talk about themselves.

  • Dress appropriately.

Quoted: Transforming your Resume from Military to Civilian, Beth Braccio Hering, writer
Thanks to: michael coritsidis.

28. First Impressions the Safe Way

A key in making a first impression, knowing how others unconsciously see us. Our primitive brain is always in fight/flight mode.
Appear none threatening take these steps.
1. A sincere smile includes the entire face. False smile is different, the primitive brain senses this.
2. Slightly raise your eyebrows when smiling, sends a recognition signal that it’s safe.
3. Open posture, hands with open arms at the side, feet pointing towards the person
Important points that make a difference
Thanks to: Harlan Goerger of .

29. Legs, eyes, teeth, hand, mouth

When the person who is going to interview you approaches, stand up, look them straight in the eye, smile, give a firm handshake and say, “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your time.” Do the opposite and I guarantee the meeting will be a failure.
Thanks to: Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd..

30. The Red Carpet Handshake

While it's an oversimplification, for this example, realize that the human brain is doing two things when you first meet someone; it's asking "Is this person going to hurt me, or help me?"

The most innocent things imaginable can trigger the "hurt me" processing in the brain.

When you shake hands with someone, slightly rotate your hand out, gently turning your hand with your palm angled up, thereby placing the other persons hand in a "palm down" position. There brain will appreciate it!
Thanks to: Vincent Harris of Harris Research International.

31. Dress for Success

Always dress for the job you want. Even if you are interviewing for an internship or an entry level position, you should always take the time to dress in proper business attire (yes,a suit). It makes a great first impression and it also lets the hiring manager know that you are very serious about the job and are willing to learn and advance to that next position. Suit up and you may be surprised at the outcome.
Thanks to: Joel Rudy of Photographic Solutions, Inc. .

32. Show Teeth

Smile as though you are truly thrilled to meet this person. That means: show your teeth. But don't think you can fake it. You have to find that place inside of you that truly is thrilled (about something), and then show it. Your toothy smile will say more than any words can.
Thanks to: Alexander Seinfeld of Jewish Spiritual Literacy, Inc..

33. Be Positive, Its Catching!

Best way to make a first impression, by far it’s a positive attitude. With this all of the fringe benefits just fall into place such as confidence, respect of self and of the person/people you are meeting, and it really assists in breaking down any barriers faster and attracting the right kind of people.

Thanks to: Anastasia Valentine of

34. Your Handshake Speaks Volumes

My best tip for making a good first impression is a firm handshake regardless if you are male or female. I hate when someone grabs only my fingers and squeezes gently. I think they are a weak fish and my impression of them goes way down.

My dad taught me to use a firm handshake with everyone I meet. I think your handshake speaks volumes, and folks have no clue the poor first impression their handshake may make.

Add "look them in the eye" with a great handshake and you have a home run!
Thanks to: Jennifer Leake of Consultants Gold, Inc..

35. The Devil is in the Details

When it comes to image, the devil is in the details. One thing wrong, that’s all they notice.. Yet, the sum total is greater than all its parts. You need to have an impeccable image from head to toe. If one element of your image appears dated or out of sync, you will not make an impact. It’s all about impact and credibility. The wrong colors can make you appear less attractive, less credible. The wrong “lines” -
Thanks to: Sandy Dumont of The Image Architect, Sandy dumont.

36. Relax and smile!

Don’t take meeting new people (networking) too seriously. It can and should be fun. Connect with the intention of helping others rather than simply expecting to find the elusive perfect job or client. Relax, smile, take the pressure off yourself and focus on what you can bring to the party or offer in the form of contacts, knowledge or resources. And always be polite and considerate. Good manners never go out of style.

Thanks to: Sandy Jones-Kaminski of Bella Domain, LLC.

37. Follow Up!

Making a good first impression MUST go beyond the initial meeting to include the follow-up afterwards. However you promise to follow-up with a contact, do it. No matter how great the meeting may have been, poor follow-up will quickly send the best meeting down the drain. Furthermore, it sets a horrible precedent for future communications between you and the contact.
Thanks to: Elton Taylor of Longview Partnership.

38. CEO

Its really important smile, people always forget.
Thanks to: Justine Reichman of Stratagem Corp.

39. First Impressions

My best tip is to be prepared with a high impact 30-second elevator pitch or answer to the question, “What do you do?”. This includes sharing the problem you solve for others, something that differentiates you from others in your industry and having a call to action to move the conversation forward.

Also, being PRESENT with the other person - making the other person feel heard. It also helps to thank them for their time - whether they spend 30-seconds or 30-minutes with you.
Thanks to: Barbara Lopez of Brightfarm Introductions.

40. Can I get a word in?

If you let the other person do most of the talking, he/she will walk away from the situation thinking it was a riveting conversation. So don't think you have to overwhelm your audience with friendly banter because it could work in your favor.
Thanks to: Christian McKenzie of Christian McKenzie.

41. Dress for Success

The most obvious is to dress successfully. I always look at a persons shoes -the style, if they are shined, well kept, clean, if they match their outfit, etc. To me, this is a tell tale sign of how they spend money, if they are organized, dependable, have a good sense of color and self-esteem. I know this sounds shallow, but I rarely do business with vendors whose shoes are a mess - messy and unkempt shoes = bad work.
Thanks to: Marian Gordon of Yippee Print & Marketing.