You asked, “How do you make a good first impression?”
And I was like, “You’re asking me? I’m pretty awkward and weird at first impressions sometimes.”
So, let me bumble through this and hopefully it works for you. Like all of our videos, this is completely freestyle.
1. Just answering the question, the first one is pretty simple. Don’t try to make a first impression.
It comes across when you’re trying and I know you know that. You can feel it. In a social environment and you’re supposed to be networking. And if you aretrying to do something, people feel that from you but you know it and it makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it? When you’re in there trying to do something or be something that you’re not.
The best first impression is for someone saying, “That dude is just totally being himself.”
I think about my dad. He was an extraordinarily good man. Just incredible. He did three tours in Vietnam. He served his country. He was a jolly, just happy guy; had a big Buddha belly because mom always fed him good food. And we lost him in 2009 to leukemia, unfortunately.
And I think about the way that he handled that situation and the lessons he told us. And one of the things he was always just saying is, “Be yourself.”
I thought about it. The things he went through during that time dealing with chemo and treatment. How easy would it been for him to try to act a part. But if he wasn’t feeling good, he wasn’t feeling good.
He was always positive, but he was him. And he remained himself through the end. Just be yourself and that remains the all-time best two words in personal development. All right?
Just be yourself!
Add that with the next two best words in all of spiritual development “Have Faith” and now you got a winning combination.
Go into the next networking event, be yourself, have faith that it will go fine and you’ll be on a much better ground than being one of those guys, “Hi, how you doing?”
You just like, “Oh my god, get away from me creep.”
You’re like when you’re not being authentic; it oozes someone who is trying or someone who is not trustable.
So, just be you.
And some people say, “Well, Brendon though me is someone who would not interact in that social context. Me is a wallflower. Me is a very introverted person. Who wouldn’t want to go do that.”
I go, “Then don’t go do it?”
We’ve all fallen prey to this mass hysteria that says, “We all have to go in and network and party and do all that things.”
Who said? Who is telling you, you have to do anything that you’re not wanting to do?
2. I tell people all the time, “Just because it’s hard or uncomfortable doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.”
Matter of fact most of your growth will come from placing yourself and being yourself, being your best in situations where you may not be comfortable.
Part of mastery of life is learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
So, if a networking situation will be good for you and your career and your goals and your dreams, yeah will yourself to get your butt in there and go be the best you. Get in the game.
But don’t think you have to.
I get invited to parties and fundraisers and speeches. I mean, every single day, hundreds of invitations coming to us because we are reaching millions of people every single day. So, we get tons of requests and it’s all, “No.”
If it’s not on my path, I don’t have to say yes to it and I think you need to approach that the same way.
You don’t need to do every networking situation that comes up. But if you do go there, don’t try so hard. Go and make sure you do very simple things.
3. Have Fun: Nothing makes a better impression than you choosing to have real fun.
Being authentic in the moment, making yourself enjoy the situation vs. trying to struggle through. Go have fun in whatever way is fun for you.
- If fun for you is one-on-one with somebody, connecting, learning their story, great!
- If fun for you telling a big story and being dramatic, great. Go do that!
Make the party or the social situation fun and the first impression on everybody will be significant and it will be positive.
4. The second thing is, I don’t want you to forget that first impressions have nothing to do with you as much as they have to do with the other person.
I know you know that as well, but how present do you really get for other people?
Think about the last time you were with your partner, your spouse, your lover, the person you’re in intimate relationship with, if you are.
- How present have you really been with them at dinner?
- How present are you with them when you’re walking in the door?
- How present are you with them in general?
Because that level of presence is probably what you’re carrying into the social world too.
And I want you to remember that if you really want to make a difference and you really want to make an impact—a great “First Impression”, it comes from being present with other people and truly listening, being engaged and interested in who they are, what they’re about, what’s going on in their world.
5. Part of being great at first impressions is asking questions of other people and genuinely meaning them.
Not, “I read these are the five great questions to ask at networking events” makes you another ass who is asking you those five questions.
Go ask questions that are real for you.
Like if you meet somebody, ask them questions that are authentic for you. That’s it.
Do what you’re interested. Tell people, “Hey I’m interested in this. How do you perceive it? What do you do?”
Learn from them. Don’t be so focused on bragging about yourself to make a first impression.
Instead, learn enough about someone that you can brag about them to the next guy.
Meaning if now, you’re talking with someone you learn something about them and then someone walks up and be like, “Hey what’s your name? Oh Pete. Hey Pete, this is Barbara. Barbara’s awesome, she was just telling me how she’s like this.”
And now you’re just bragging up on Barbara vs. worrying about bragging about yourself and in that situation you will be the person of influence.
6. And I think the last simple reminder that we forget all the time that what makes the great difference in making a good first impression in addition to being ourselves, having faith that all will go well and being interested in other people is to change the emotional tone of the conversations and the context we find ourselves in life.
If you’re on first impression and you’re talking with somebody and everyone’s kind of bland but you just say, “You know what? I’m going to change the tone here a little bit with my energy, my physicality, my spirituality. I’m just going to leave this situation a little bit more positively energized.” Whatever that means for the context you’re in.
If you’re volunteering in hospice and someone’s very sick and they’re going through a tough time, you don’t need to go in there and party and chat. Go all crazy and be a clown around them.
But if you just served authentically in that situation to make that person feel cared for and you left on a positive upbeat tone, they would feel that they would remember you.
How you leave is much more important than the first impression and we always forget that.
People only have a memory for so long that they might not even remember the first time they met you. But they remember how you left them feeling and that’s what you have to focus on.
That when you go to leave, when you go to leave the conversation or the social context, is to say:
- How can I leave this better than I found it?
- How can I have contributed some positive energy or positive perspective to this?
Because if you walk away and they’re like, “That person is who they are and they are interested in us and that was a positive feeling when they left,” you’ve accomplished everything you need to have done in your first impression.
Go out there, try these ideas. Remember them next time you’re in a networking situation. You’ll start to experience a whole lot more of what we call, The Charged Life.
How Do You Make a Good First Impression
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