How to Make a Great First Impression

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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.

  1. Look the part. Dress properly for the setting. When in doubt, overdress.
  2. 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."
  3. Speak carefully and clearly. Employ a moderate pace that allows you to enunciate. Use proper grammar.
  4. 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. 
  5. Address the person properly. Use their name frequently. Ensure you memorize their name upon first introduction.
  6. Focus the conversation on the other person. Ask questions to learn more about them and to keep the dialogue moving forward.
  7. 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

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