How To Make An Amazing First Impression

When you meet someone for the first time, you’ve got a few seconds to win them over. You don’t have to go full Charm School on them but you at least need to make them feel like you aren’t going to break into their house later and steal all their shoes.

how to make an amazing first impression

If you’re not a naturally confident person (and few people are!) I’ve got a few tips to teach you how to make an amazing first impression…

1. Figure out what kind of an impression you want to make first

So this person you’re about to meet, what do you want them to think about you? Do you want to come across as friendly and eager? Professional and elegant? Ambitious and hardworking? It’s important to always be yourself but depending on who you’re meeting you might want to give yourself a theme for the introduction. It sounds ridiculous but if you’re meeting your best mate’s other best mate for the first time, you want her to think you’re the most fun person on the planet. However if you’re meeting the head honcho of your favourite company, you want them think you’d make an excellent employee.  A theme like ‘professional’ ‘fun’ ‘kind’ ‘hard working’ will keep you in the right frame mind for the meeting.

2. Concentrate on body language

Body language is something that tends to get ignored in social situations. I used to be a teacher so I’ve trained myself over the years to give good body language (kids are geniuses – they can pick a bad attitude just from the way you’re walking) but it’s something anyone can learn. Key points – stand up straight, hands out of pockets, make eye contact, don’t fold your arms or put obstacles between yourself and the person you’re talking you. Bad body language can kill a first impression so make sure you keep it at the front of your mind. It sounds super self centred but if I’m feeling a bit shy I’ll say ‘I own this room.’ to myself. There’s nothing like channelling a little bit of Don Draper to give you an extra confidence boost.

3. Make the person you’re talking to feel like the best human in the world

This is the easiest and most effective way to make someone like you – let them talk about themselves and act like it’s the most fascinating thing you’ve ever heard. I’m pretty lucky because I actually really enjoy hearing people’s life stories (seriously, I only have to get someone mildly drunk before they start telling me all their family history and secrets. I think I have safe face or something.) but even if you don’t like listening to other people, just pretend that you do. Everyone likes to talk about themselves and it’s the easiest way to get someone to like you.

4. Don’t be too cool for school

It can be tempting to go all James Dean Ice Queen on a social situation but honestly? No one like likes a snob. Just be as friendly and open as you can manage. I know it can be difficult for some people but smiling and being kind is the best currency you have in a first impression scenario so don’t hold back.

5. Wear something you feel shit hot in

I’m a bit old school when it comes dressing appropriately. Keep your bits covered (I once saw a guy at a black tie event in a t-shirt that was so low I could see his nipples. Actual man-nip. At a BLACK TIE EVENT! *clutches pearls*), wear something your comfortable in but that also makes you feel a bit spesh. If you’re uncomfortable in what you’re wearing it will only distract you.

How’s your first impression game? On point? Or could you use a little work?

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  1. Christine 7 years ago

    Yes to the nth about all of these, but especially about comfy clothes. Totally distracting when you’re meeting someone for the first time and you have a major wedgy situation or bra strap slippage going on. Impossible to concentrate on small things like, maybe trying to remember their name, let alone make a good first impression! X

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Exactly! Same goes for shoes – you’re not going to be a very good conversationalist if you’re terrified of falling over when you walk away!

  2. Kelly NH 7 years ago

    Im terrible with names, so I always try to repeat the name. Like ‘ Its lovely to meet you Carly’ while shaking their hand. It kinda imprints itself that way. Im a natural introvert, so none of this is easy for me, I have to work at it. Im getting better at it slowly! I also like to genuinely compliment people.
    Like if they have a lovely smile, or even if I like the shoes or a ring/necklace they have on. It provides a talking point about where they got it from, how they like to dress etc….(in social events this is! Obviously not business meetings!)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      I’m not too shabby on the names (ex-teacher) but I’m terrible if I haven’t head the name before or it’s pronounced in a different way. I can’t call a Meagan ‘Meg-an’. My mouth just won’t do it.

  3. Tine 7 years ago

    Smile. For me, that’s what works. When I’m feeling like poo, looking like poo but still need to make a good first impression, I find that smiling helps make a good impression (or at least, better than what I’d expect given my feeling like poo). There’s science behind this: when you smile at a person, even at stranger, that person is usually compelled to smile back. 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Oh totally! Mr Smaggle and I met an old man in the street and as he walked past us he gave us a giant smile and asked how our day ways. We were DELIGHTED! Note to self: do this more often.

  4. KezUnprepared 7 years ago

    I think I’m MOSTLY OK at first impressions – especially in social situations? I used to suck at job interviews because I’d seem jittery and deer in the headlights. Now, I would totally kick arse because I have confidence in myself and I’ve even learned how to fake it haha. I think another thing to keep in mind (at least socially) is that some people just can’t be won over and that’s got nothing to do with you, it’s them. I have an acquaintance who I cross paths with semi-regularly. Nothing seems to work. I’ve finally realised that it’s just her and that’s OK. Can’t click with everyone. I just feel good that I gave my best and if she’s not picking up what I’m putting down, I know I didn’t do anything wrong (I’m a recovering chronic people pleaser who wants everyone to like her)!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      I’m also a chronic people pleaser! I rarely meet people I can’t win over but you’re right there are some people that you just can’t get!

  5. Belinda Jacobson 7 years ago

    I can be a bit hit and miss – I think it depends on if I’m feeling confident that day. Meeting new people is usually ok, job interviews I struggle with….. I get so nervous I forget my own name 🙁 lol. x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      I’m usually okay in job interviews but then I’ve only been to ones where I was fairly sure I was going to get the job! Makes it a lot easier!

  6. It’s hard to gauge people sometimes but I usually come across friendly and outgoing and tone down or up to suit the person’s personality, I’m usually a fairly good judge of character, unless I’ve had a few wines and then my approach is RANDOM!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      I’m pretty much in everyone’s face all the time. 🙂

  7. Just discovering your blog although I already follow you on Instagram! Love it!
    Considering I’m a total disaster I make disastrous first impressions haha!

  8. These are super rad tips, my friend! I like to think I’m pretty good at the first impression game, as I always keep that old saying in mind – you only ever get one chance at a first impression. x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      You make an EXCELLENT first impression. All the gold stars for you. x

  9. Sublime Finds 7 years ago

    Oooh I don’t think I’ve ever thought about what sort of first impression to make… have been thinking more about how to make the other person feel comfortable! (A decade working in HR to blame for that one). I always try to arm myself with a friendly smile. Totally agree on feeling your best when you look your best! So worth spending the extra time for big events! x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Oh totally! You need to get more selfish though. 🙂

  10. dashoftonic 7 years ago

    I’m out of practice with first impressions but I’m sure Problogger will make up for that. I think I’ve always done pretty well with No. 3, need to pay more attention to No. 5 and will ponder No. 1.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 7 years ago

      Oh you’ll be fine! Problogger is great! Everyone is really friendly – also you can always just come up to me!

  11. Bec 7 years ago

    Do you ever struggle with making someone really comfortable and then having them steamroll you with their life story?! I like to feel this is one of my strengths, especially given my job (journalist) relied on making someone comfortable, having them open up and shell out information. But in social situations I find after talking to someone I could list 5 facts about them and they haven’t asked a single thing about me. Which can feel a bit deflating. As you said everyone likes to talk about themselves for a bit!


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