1. Be pleasant and full of praise.
Whether you’re making connections at a conference or meeting colleagues from other departments, one of the best ways to get people to remember you is to turn on the charm. When you make someone laugh, feel happy or admired, they naturally reciprocate those feelings towards you Nothing leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths like an accidentally insulting joke or string of bad puns. And remember, even if the food is bad or the weather is poor, don’t complain—you’ll only end up killing the mood and appearing as a Debbie Downer.
2. Have a balanced conversation.
The best conversations are a seamless back-and-forth banter because it creates the opportunity for mutual connections. “If someone wants to know more about your dog or exotic cooking habits, they can ask you questions.
3. Dress to make the right impression.
If you want your impression to end with a happy ending, express yourself through your clothing while also adhering to what’s appropriate for the situation. After all, not only can a bit of personal flair be a great conversation starter, but displaying a hint of style can also affect how you carry yourself. When you feel good about what you’re wearing, you’re less self-monitoring, which allows you to focus on making connections with others.
4. Convey interest.
An effective way to leave a good impression on someone you’ve just met is to ask them about themselves during the course of the conversation. When you’re interested, you’re interesting. Showing someone that you care about what they’re saying by asking questions as well as displaying subtle signs that you’re interested in the response, such as nodding or indicating agreement, makes them feel admired, which in turn makes them admire you.
5. Get real in your introduction.
The secret to a memorable introduction? Attach a confessional-style” factoid when introducing yourself. The admission should be something that conveys vulnerability. The top quality that helps people connect with others is realness, as it immediately wipes out any sense of competition.
6. Contribute to the conversation.
The goal is not to just be part of a room or conversation, but to add value to it. When you take a conversation one step further—whether by adding an interesting factoid or elaborating on something that has already been touched upon—people will note that you truly understand the topic at hand, which signals that you are equals and that there is potential for you to learn from each other.
7. Make eye contact.
No matter who you’re speaking to, eye contact is the key to keeping someone interested and engaged. Research shows that making eye contact 70% to 80% of the time is considered normal and appropriate. If you have trouble making direct eye contact when speaking in public, look in between people. The most important thing is that you face the crowd.
8. Know when the conversation is over.
Whether you’re mingling at a party or flirting with a new love interest, knowing when to call it a wrap is crucial to leaving a positive impression. The best way to make sure you know when it’s time to go is to stay present—keep appropriate eye contact, listen carefully—so that you can pick up on the signals that the other person is ready to wind down the conversation.
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