A warm smile, a firm handshake, and a sincere gaze are all important aspects of making a good first impression. But let’s not forget confidence – confidence in your English, that is! Because a few clumsy or inappropriate words in English can drastically affect the impression you’re trying to make, we’ve written this guide to help you improve your English, build your confidence and impress all those you meet!
Just after you are introduced to someone new, in most Western cultures, it’s appropriate to shake hands. As you extend your hand in a firm, but not too tight, grip, say “It’s nice to meet you.”, “Pleased to meet you.”, or “How do you do?” Say it with confidence and a smile, and you’ve already taken the first step in making that good impression.
Make small talk
Don’t let an awkward silence fill the room once you have been introduced. Make small talk by asking your new acquaintance some general questions. If this is a personal relationship, you can ask about their job: “So what do you do?” If this he or she is a business acquaintance, perhaps you can simply ask, “So how’s business?” Be sure to listen carefully to their response, offer your opinions and ask more questions.
Find ways to compliment
As you get to know the person, find some way to sincerely compliment him or her. Perhaps you’ve heard that the work they produce is excellent. Then you can say, “I’ve heard great things about your work!” Or, in a more social situation, you may want to compliment an aspect of your new friend’s appearance: “I just love your earrings! They look good on you.” Compliments always make people feel good, and you’ll find the recipient will be impressed with your friendliness and thoughtfulness!
Initiate a future relationship
Before your conversation ends, be sure to show that you want to continue your relationship. In business circumstances, you may want to ask, “Can I give you one of my cards?” Or perhaps, in social situations, you may want to extend an invitation: “Would you like to have dinner with us tomorrow?” Be sure your new acquaintance knows you have enjoyed their company, and you would like to continue to develop your relationship.
Say a kind goodbye
When it’s time to part ways, make sure you say kind words about the time you spent together. Depending on the formality of the situation, you may want to shake hands once again while you say, “It was a pleasure meeting you.” or “It was nice getting to know you. Let’s do this again soon.” As you say goodbye, remember to smile once again and maintain eye contact. Congratulations! You’ve just made a wonderful impression!