Meeting new people is a constant in our lives. Whether you love it or dread it, meeting new people is always bound to be a part of the normal course of business. Whether you are meeting new friends or networking at a work function, there are some tips to making a good first impression.
First, keep in mind that hearing your name and having it remembered makes us all feel validated and appreciated. A good memory trick is to repeat a person’s name back to them after you hear it for the first time. Making sure you actively use their name after you hear it will aid in keeping it fresh in your mind.
Another good tip to remember is to ask people about themselves, look them in the eye when they’re speaking, and stay away from controversial topics. Be an active listener and pay attention when the other person is speaking. Making others feel heard will go a long way toward gaining their trust and respect.
Lastly, the best strategy for meeting new people is to ignore your inhibitions and simply put yourself out there. Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Next time someone invites you to an event where you will not know anyone, see it as an opportunity to practice your new skills. Eventually, the prospect of an unfamiliar social gathering will not be so scary.
All in all, aspire to walk away from meeting new people feeling like you’ve just met new people. If you feel like you don’t know anything more about them than when you first started, analyze why that is and attempt to work on those aspects in the next encounter.