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    10 Secrets to Leaving a Great Impression

    There are some individuals who seem to go through life charming everyone they meet and getting on with all kinds of people. There’s something magnetic about them that draws a crowd. This doesn’t happen by accident – people who have this kind of effect on others know how to leave a great impression wherever they go. Here are 10 of their most valuable secrets to help you leave a similar impression with everyone you come across in your career.

    Always Be On Time

    You don’t want someone to have a bad impression of you before you’ve even turned up, but that’s exactly what will happen if you leave them waiting. Always arrive when you say you’re going to arrive. You’re more likely to be able to do this if you always aim to be five minutes early, so if something does go wrong on your journey you still have little bit of leeway because you left for your destination before you actually had to.

    Give a Proper Handshake 

    The first interaction you might have with someone when meeting them is to shake hands with them, so the handshake plays a vital role in the impression you initially give. Shake hands properly by using your full hand to shake the other person’s hand firmly, but without crushing any bones.

    Speak Clearly

    If people think you have a great speaking voice, they’ll remember you for this and have a positive opinion of you. It’ll be something that stands out and that people refer to when they talk about you. Regardless of what accent you have, you can be known for having a great voice if you speak clearly. Speaking clearly is made easier if you protect your throat by avoiding fried foods, caffeine, alcohol and dairy.

    Make Your Answers An Appropriate Length

    Impressing someone with your conversational skills involves getting the balance right with the length of your answers. You don’t want to give monosyllabic responses to every question you’re asked but you don’t want to ramble on every time either.

    Be Good With Names

    If you make the effort to correctly remember someone’s name, they’ll feel valued by you and will warm towards you in an instant. If you’re not naturally good with names, here’s a secret hack that can help you become good with them – address people by their name when you’re first introduced to them: “Hi Jo; it’s a pleasure to meet you”. This will help you remember their name so you can use it again when you’re saying goodbye – “Bye Jo. It was great meeting you”.

    Offer to Help Out

    You can leave a good impression wherever you go if you become known as a helper. Volunteer to help with ad hoc tasks and projects at work. When you meet people at networking events, ask them what you can do for them.

    Be Prepared

    Do the necessary preparation for every interaction you have with other people. Prepare for job interviews by researching the employer beforehand and thinking about what questions you might be asked. Prepare for work meetings by locating and bringing any relevant documents with you, be they hard copies or on a digital device such as a laptop or tablet. No one leaves a worse impression than the colleague who holds up a meeting by scratching around for information they don’t even have because they forgot to bring it with them, or the job candidate who stares blankly back at the interviewer when asked what they know about the company.

    Follow Up

    After each meeting or interaction with somebody, follow up with them to show that you care and are genuinely appreciative of whatever involvement they’ve had in your life, however small. Send a thank you note to the interviewer after a job interview. After you finish working on a project with someone, give them a recommendation on LinkedIn. After a networking event, send an email to each person you exchanged business cards with to say how nice it was to meet them.

    Practice Damage Limitation

    No matter how hard we try to make a good impression, things sometimes go wrong anyway. Something might happen on our way to a meeting that leaves us running late even if we left early. You might drop the ball and give someone a limp handshake even if you’ve firmly shaken hundreds of hands before. All is not lost – you can still leave a great impression by practising a little damage limitation. If you’re running late, phone the person you’re meant to be meeting to let them know. If you gave someone a limp handshake when greeting them, give them a proper one when parting ways.

    Be Consistent

    To leave someone with a great impression not just the first time you meet them but every time they encounter you, you have to be consistent in practising the behaviours we’ve discussed above. Don’t just be on time for the job interview; after you get the job, be consistently punctual for work. Make a point of always remembering and using someone’s name whenever you meet up with them, not just during your initial meeting.

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