From Real Buzz
Walk as though you’re going somewhere specific. Even if you don’t have a clue where you’re walking to, just pretend you do.
Whether you want to stand out at an interview or you’re trying to get noticed by a member of the opposite sex, it’s important to know how to make a good first impression. Here are seven simple steps to make you stand out in a crowd.
1: Have good posture
Experts say that first impressions are based on 60 per cent non-verbal communication and 40 per cent verbal, which means that you’re being judged mostly before you even open your mouth – no pressure. To make your 60 per cent count, you need to have good posture. When was the last time you noticed the person who shuffled into the room looking shy and coy? Did it make you want to talk to them? If you were an employer, would you give them a job? No? Shocker. Shuffling in with slumped shoulders and your head hanging down will make you look like you don’t want to speak to anyone and doesn’t make people feel like they can approach you. Instead, walk tall with your shoulders back and your head held high.
2: Walk with purpose
Along with posture comes walking with a purpose; there’s no point holding your head high if you’re going to dawdle over to the bar looking worried and lost. Walk as though you’re going somewhere specific. Even if you don’t have a clue where you’re walking to, just pretend you do. Maybe aim more towards the bar than the toilets though – you’re trying to look confident, not like you’re on a desperate mission to get to the bathroom because you have an upset stomach. Walk in like you mean business, and people will notice you.
3: Look the part
Trendsetters rarely go undetected so wear something that stands out. This isn’t to say that you should revamp your style completely; go for something you feel confident in but add a flash of colour or a quirky accessory to make yourself stand out. Look through magazines for inspiration; if you flick through the pages of a fashion magazine and see someone that stands out for their style (in a good way, of course) try to incorporate an element of their style into your own.
4: Be approachable and approach people
There’s no point looking the part with posture, confidence and style if you’re going to team these positive attributes with a bad attitude and a glum face. No one likes the cocky guy who walks in like he owns the place. Instead, approach people and make sure you look approachable, make eye contact and smile. Ask people questions about themselves to show that you’re interested even if you couldn’t care less about where they work or what they’re doing at the weekend – these people will want to talk to you again in the future.
5: Have a passion
When speaking to people – whether that is in a bar or in a job interview – evoke people’s interest in you by being passionate about your chosen subject. Talking about how nice the weather is can be a good conversation starter when you’re trying to break the ice, but it gets pretty bland after about 30 seconds. Instead, ask people what they’re interested in and show your passion for your hobbies too. This doesn’t mean pretending that you love rugby when you’re into ballet, but if you can show a particular passion for ballet, then go for it. Showing that you have a passion for something makes people interested in you because you’re inspiring – you have things to talk about and knowledge to share with others.
6: Don’t be swayed by other people
People who really stand out are those who don’t simply smile and nod along when something is said that they don’t agree with. You shouldn’t change your opinion purposely to stand out, but if your thoughts genuinely diverge from everyone else’s, say it. Don’t force your opinions on other people because this will make you unpopular but don’t be afraid to express your views either. If you have a good reason for thinking differently, you’ll stand out for your honesty and innovative thinking. Rather than saying, for example, “no that’s not how it should be” say “ that’s an interesting way to look at it. I’ve never thought of it like that before” and then say your opinion. Having your own thoughts and being honest will make you stand out from the people who simply smile and nod along.
7: Believe in yourself
Above all, believe in yourself. To stand out from a crowd, you must believe that you are someone worth being around. Once you have conquered the fear of being the centre of attention, you’ve got the key to standing out in a crowd. There is only one of you in the whole wide world, so look good, stand tall, be confident and friendly and you’re sure to stand out from the rest . As the saying goes “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” so make that first impression a good one – go you!
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.