A good first impression could make or break a business deal, job offer, even getting a second date… but what do you do if you’re just not sure how to present yourself in order to let your true colors show within a short time frame?
Whether you’re hopping on a call with a new client, about to do your first Zoom job interview, or you’re just hoping to improve your personal skill set to become more likable in your personal and professional life, learning to impress anyone in 15 minutes or less is actually a much more achievable feat than you may have come to believe—if you know the right tactics to work on.
With that in mind, we tapped into our network of executives, founders, and high level directors to get their best tips on how to impress anyone in 15 minutes or less—from dressing for success to living up to your online persona, here are the easiest ways to put your best foot forward and guarantee you impress every single time.
1. Listen more than you talk.
“One of the quickest ways to impress anyone is to listen more than you talk,” explains James Dyble, Managing Director at London-based Global Sound Group.
“Many people believe that they should list all their successes. However, showing that you are a strong listener, is far more potent and it will create a longer lasting greater impression than any other.”
2. Dress for success.
As much as possible, be at your best and dress appropriately. It shows people that you respect and care about yourself. “When people see how well-dressed and groomed you are, they’ll think you have something important to talk about, which creates curiosity and engagement,” says Dennis Bell, Founder and CEO of Byblos Coffee.
“Invest in a wardrobe that will highlight your best body feature. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an expensive one. As long as you choose the appropriate clothes to wear on different occasions, you’re good to go.”
3. Live up to your online persona.
“How we initially perceive someone is usually influenced by our expectations,” explains Emilija Simic, HR consultant for TeamStage. “For instance, we look at someone’s LinkedIn account, share a few emails and we already have a picture about them. If they turn out to be someone else in-person, we will be disappointed.”
While it can be intimidating to try to meet someone’s expectations, what Simic is suggesting is moreso to ensure your online presence is an accurate representation of who you are, rather than an inflated alter ego that doesn’t match who you really are.
4. Prepare an elevator pitch for yourself.
Not sure how to explain your professional experience or worried you might overdo it on the accolades?
“Make sure to prepare a mini-speech that will help you eloquently say what you do, how you do it, what it means to you, and why it makes a difference,” Simic adds.
Doing so in advance will ensure you come off confident and prepared without sounding like you’re bragging.
5. Be mindful of body language.
Things we say are important, but the signals we send using our body language are crucial too.
According to Simic, you should always make sure to send positive non-verbal signals such as firmly shaking hands, avoid slouching, smile lightly and maintain eye contact.
— Kaitlyn McInnis
This article originally appeared on Ladders.