You only get one chance to make a first impression. Whether you're meeting your girlfriend's family or a potential client, get it right the first time with these tips.
- Look the part. Dress properly for the setting. When in doubt, overdress.
- Greet the person(s) with a firm handshake. Make eye contact. You can never go wrong with a timeless remark such as, "It's a pleasure to meet you."
- Speak carefully and clearly. Employ a moderate pace that allows you to enunciate. Use proper grammar.
- Be polite and courteous. Avoid jokes until you are very comfortable with the situation and certain that the joke will be met with the proper response.
- Address the person properly. Use their name frequently. Ensure you memorize their name upon first introduction.
- Focus the conversation on the other person. Ask questions to learn more about them and to keep the dialogue moving forward.
- Listen carefully. Don't hesitate to use verbal cues ("I understand") and visual cues (nodding your head in agreement) to indicate that you are paying close attention.
source: Stuff Every Man Should Know. By Brett Cohen. pg 112-113