Meeting new people can be intimidating, especially if you’re an introvert, shy, or having a bad day. However, first impressions are important, especially when meeting new co-workers or clients. A recent Business Insider article provides seven very helpful tips for making strangers like you instantly. Here’s what you should do the next time you meet someone and want them to like you right away:
- Smile. Make it sincere, and you’ll seem more friendly and approachable from the get go. A smile sets a positive tone for the conversation and helps you feel happier as you start the interaction.
- Use their name a few times. Not only will you better remember the stranger's name, but “people are hard-wired to love the sound of their own names,” says author Jayson DeMers.
- Break the ice with humor. Opening with a joke, especially a funny one, will break the ice quicker than small talk will. DeMers points out that “even if your joke doesn't land, the fact that you're trying to have fun will make you more likeable.”
- Open your body language. Don’t fold your arms or put your hands in your pockets. Make eye contact, face the person, and keep your legs grounded underneath you.
- Use hand and arm movements. Gesticulating demonstrates enthusiasm and energy. People who are animated and lively receive more positive reactions than those who are boring.
- Get them to talk about themselves. Ask a lot of questions and pay attention to what they are saying. Encourage the stranger to talk about their passions, as that will ensure the conversation flows.
- Talk to lots of strangers. Practice makes perfect—even when it comes to chatting with people you don’t know.
How do you break the ice when meeting new people?