How to Make a Great First Impression

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They say you have 30 seconds or less to make a great first impression…and that first impression lasts forever.  The real power is not technique.  The most powerful way to connect with someone and make an unforgettable first impression is to do it at an emotional level.  Here are the three emotions you want to exude when you meet someone:

  1. Happy! Happiness is contagious…and attractive.
  2. When you are interested in others it raises their value and self-worth instantly.
  3. Nothing is more powerful than making people feel appreciated.

These emotions create a strong connective tissue that is almost irresistible.


The best first impression that you can ever make with somebody is when they first see you and this is how you appear and how you make them feel. There’s instant attraction. There is very few things that are more attractive to other people than someone who just is happy. Happiness is contagious. If you want to have the greatest first impression, the very first thing is, you’ve got to be happy.

All of the things that are included in this are things like eye contact and when you look at somebody and shaking their hand, having a firm handshake, and all of those. Those are all techniques. I’m talking about the power. The real power to make a good first impression is all about human emotion. Emotion is the connective tissues between you and other people. Eye contact can be faked. Handshake can be trained. It’s a technique. Happy? Yeah. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is an emotion that you choose. I’m not talking about pasting on a fake smile because over time people can tell it’s not real. There’s still that vibe whenever you’re truly happy. How does that show up? Happy shows up as energy. It shows up as enthusiasm. It shows up in your facial expression, eye brows up, not down. Smile, not frown. That rhymed, didn’t it? Number 1 is happy.


The second emotion that people need to feel from you immediately when you see them, when you connect with them, is they need to feel interest. That means they need to feel that you are interested in them. How do they feel that? By the way you look at them. “It’s great to see you. Hi, how are you?” I’m happy and I’m into you. It’s 100%. The eye contact is all about the focus. It’s all about the sense that you are meeting somebody. Every person you meet, every person you meet … In fact, I’m going to write this down. Every single person you meet should be a VIP. You should treat and see everybody you meet as if they are a very important person, because the reality is they are. When you have that interest, when you show up that way, they feel that. That is powerful. When you’re interested in them, there’s nothing more attractive than the fact that you are interest in them. People love it when you’re interested in them. People care about themselves. When you seem to care about them, that is powerful as well.


The third most powerful emotion that you want to create and that creates a great first impression is gratitude. You want them to feel gratitude from you. This probably doesn’t happen in the first 2 or 3 seconds. This is the conversation. This is that initial conversation. It can literally happen in the first 30 seconds. It certainly is going to happen in the first conversation. That is just … Number one is having a feeling of gratitude. “It’s great to meet you.” You want to communicate I am grateful for this opportunity to meet you. If it’s somebody you’ve heard about, say that. Say, “I’m so grateful to get to finally meet you. It’s great to meet you. I’m grateful for this opportunity. When you tell them that, when you communicate to somebody gratitude, what you just did is you elevate their worth. You elevate their value. When you do that, people are so drawn to that. There is nothing more powerful in terms of connective tissue than gratitude.

I want to be clear that feeling gratitude is different than expressing gratitude. Feeling gratitude is important because it’s how you feel. Expressing gratitude is critical because it now changes the way they feel. In fact, we have the Thanksgiving Holiday. The whole idea of Thanksgiving, we don’t call it Thankfulness Day, or Feel Thankful Day. We call it Thanksgiving Day. It’s about giving. It’s about expressing the gratitude. When you meet somebody, when you see somebody, “Great to meet you. Thank you so much for taking my call. Thank you for talking to me. It’s great to meet you. Thank you for taking the time our of your day to have this conversation with me.” It’s just a really, really simple way to communicate to someone else how much you value them.

When you show up happy, they go, “Wow, this person has a great energy.” You’re happy to see them, you’re happy to be alive. Happiness is contagious. When you’re interested in them, you’re telling them, “You matter to me.” When they feel they matter to you, they’re attracted to that. When they see that you’re grateful for them, when they sense that or hear gratitude from you, it simply is telling them, “You are important. I feel a debt to you. I feel a connection to you.” That, my friends, is power. It’s the power of connective tissue. It’s the power that when you walk away from that relationship or you walk away from that initial meeting, they remember you. That is the great first impression you want to make.

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