This spring I introduced you to Michelle Van Otten, a respected San Francisco Bay Area author, international public speaker and consultant with expertise in personal peak performance, business image, first impressions and body language. This is our final in the series of guest posts in which she gave you valuable hints, tips and clues – helping you to become the most magnetic, radiant, confident version of you possible.
If you happened to miss the last two posts – check them out now on how to radiate your inner beauty and how to speak confidently and give a scintillating toast.
Today Michelle is giving us valuable advice that you can use every day from meeting a new friend, nailing a job interview, a successful first date as well as meeting future in-laws… How to make a winning first impression.
10 Winning Tips on How to Make a Great and Everlasting First Impression on Your Future Family Members and Friends
Meeting your boyfriend’s family for the first time can certainly be nerve wrecking. But rest assured, no matter what the occasion or event, let me share that the number one pearl of wisdom to keep in mind is to be your true self. The most impacting and memorable first impressions are those that reflect the real you and your true personality. You can breathe a sigh of relief and remember that there is no need to look, be or act perfect! Just remember that most people are really more focused on themselves and their own negative mind chatter that you might imagine. So the pressure is off and the opportunity is on.
I’m going to give you 10 of my best impression making tips to help build your rapport building skills and make your best and most memorable first impression.
Tip #1: Tune in and be aware of what your body language is saying about you to others. Your body language is affected by your emotions, belief systems, habits and mannerisms and how well you take care of your physical body. The basics of body language you can master now to help you build better rapport and connection are things like eliminating negative facial expressions, stiff or poor posture, leaning away from people, and crossing your arms and legs. Little habits like these can turn others off and present you as negative and unapproachable. Even when this is not your intention at all!
Instead, give great face and know your emotions are incredibly influential and powerful. Negative facial expressions are detected faster and are more impacting than positive ones. Smiling with your eyes and your heart conveys that you are open, confident, interested in others and easily approachable and likable. Lean in towards others when they are speaking with you. Keep yourself open and engaging. Uncross your arms and legs when appropriate. Maintain eye contact and be sincerely authentic with your communication. Even just keeping a smile on your face and maintaining eye contact as much as possible will set you up for success.
Tip #2: Convey true confidence that emanates from the inside out. Confidence is something a lot of people feel they don’t posses. So I’m going to give you the top ways to build true magnetic confidence from that has you glowing from the inside out. Let’s begin.
*The single best way to build your confidence muscle and get a mental boost is by working on your physical body and making fitness a daily routine. Remember that whether you like it or not, your level of self care sends the most distinct cues about how you treat yourself and this can set the tone for how others will also value you and treat you.
*Improve your self-worth by investing in your style and build a killer first impression wardrobe you look and feel great in
*Work on your posture and fix any slumping or bad habits
*Develop your strength with an attitude of gratitude and focus on noticing everything positive while working on eliminating the tendency to focus on negative things or what isn’t working in your life
*Face your fears and do it anyway. Remember that Fear is simply False Evidence Appearing Real!
Tip #3: Remember that people love to hear their name and hearing it makes them feel welcome, included and significant. There is a deep subconscious effect that happens when we hear our own name used in conversation. It creates familiarity and a feeling of ease. It gets our attention and increases our desire to listen in more closely to what follows. Using someone’s name in conversation is a fantastic way to instantly increase rapport and connection with others. This little communication secret will serve you immensely in building solid connections with others.
Tip #4: Become the master of your emotional states. Whether we realize it or not, emotions dominate the bulk of our non-verbal communication with anyone. Emotions create distinct cues that are conveyed in our facial expressions and body language that send very subtle yet clear messages. Emotions create energy; positive or negative. Your ability to master your emotions and discover how powerful your emotions are at influencing others happens through the energy you create or take away via your own emotional states. If you want to be more influential in your speaking or connecting with others, learn how to put yourself into positive emotional states instantly. This sets the mood you want others to see and feel.
Tip #5: Be proactive in starting conversations fearlessly. It’s all about having fun! Remember that a lot of people are nervous or feeling self conscious. So take the lead! Set the tone! Be in the moment, be curious and engaging. You win by focusing on others needs and making them feel comfortable first. One way to do this is to become an expert listener, engaged and focused on what others are saying, so you truly hear them and they know you are listening.
Tip #6: Your style, appearance and level of apparent self-care are dominant factors in making a million dollar first impression! These things speak volumes to others about your level of self-standards, the way you care about and value yourself. Others will treat you with the same exact level of care and respect you treat yourself with! Take the time to care for your body, health, grooming, appearance and style. Remember to match your style of dress appropriately to the environment to send the right message and intention.
Tip #7: Become a Master in the Art of Conversation by learning the flow of what works best in getting the social connection going. Just simply being proactive in starting lively conversations makes the other person feel safe, warm and open. The better you are at making someone else feel good and the more you show that you’re focused on their needs makes everyone feel great and you become a highly skilled master.
Tip #8: Give up feeling like you have to be perfect and just focus on being the real you! Perfection is the lowest human standard there is. It’s true mental self-torture. The more we are able to let this go the more relaxed we become and able to let go of the silly trivial things we focus so much attention to. The truth is that when we obsess and focus on being perfect, we think everyone else around us is focusing on the same things! Wrong! Most people are not tuned in to our little obsessions. We can get to a state of being where we can give up perfection and settle for excellence instead.
Tip #9: The brain loves sameness and when we find out that we have things in common with others it instantly builds a common bond and makes people much more attracted to us. Well known American author and psychotherapist Virginia Satir said, “The strongest human instinct is not survival. It’s staying in the familiar and keeping things the same.” As humans, we will gravitate towards the familiar at any and all costs! We are hard wired to seek out all that feels familiar to us. When people find out that you share the same beliefs, opinions, attitudes, interests, social groups, likes, dislikes it can instantly help someone feel a higher degree of comfort and build rapport in seconds.
Tip #10: Keep a tickler file in your brain of current events, newsworthy topics of conversation and things you find funny about everyday life so you always have something engaging to say. If you’ve ever felt awkward in a social situation where you don’t know a single soul and everyone there seems to appear to know everyone else, you’re not alone. Now that I’ve shared some key ways to start conversations and make a great first impression, I want you to be armed and ready with immediate topics of interest you can talk with anyone about.
Follow these steps and Michelle Van Otten will help you become the most magnetic, radiant, confident version of you possible! Success in any endeavor is always an inside job first and an outside job second. You’ve got to have the inner game in order to reflect a stellar outer game. She can show you how easy it is to achieve your ultimate self!
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