5 Steps to a Great First Impression

5 Steps to a Great Introduction

We believe that eyes may be the doorway to the soul, but the hands are the doorway to a successful encounter. Robert E. Brown and Dorthea Johnson

Have you ever met someone, shook their hand and been disappointed? The limp rag shake or the death grip both leave you with an impression about that person. What reaction are you getting with your hand shake?
Today we will help everyone make a great impact with their hand shake. That first impression is so important –Let’s make it a great one.
There are 5 parts to an Introduction.

First: Always stand for each introduction. It is a sign of respect for yourself and others.
Second: Smile! Your smile is unique to you, let it shine! It is not fun to meet someone who is frowning. It is easier to smile than frown.
Third: Eye Contact- this is the scariest part of meeting someone. Looking them in the eye. If this is hard for you, use the safety zone. Pretend there is an invisible triangle between their eyes. If you look there- it appears to the other person as if you are looking them in the eye.
Fourth: Introduce yourself. “Hello, my name is…” Say it loud enough and clear enough for the other person to understand.
Fifth: Shake hands: It should be a natural reaction to extend your hand. Make sure your hands go together all the way to the web between your thumb and pointer finger. The rest of your fingers should wrap around the bottom of the hand. The squeeze should be firm and confident not crushing.
My husband was an usher at church, so his job was to greet and meet people as they came in. One Sunday, he reached for a gentleman’s hand to say hello. As he shook this man’s hand my husband could see him visibly wince. After the service my husband said to me “I have an ok hand shake don’t I?” and I said “let’s see”. So we shook hands and Wow! He crushed my hand so hard. I was in pain. I am sure that’s what happened to this gentleman at church. Needless to say, it took this man a few months to shake my husband’s hand again. By that time he had learned how to shake hands and was able to make a better impression with his hand shake.

Have someone judge your handshake. Make sure your greeting is not too strong or more like a “dead fish.” Sometimes a handshake is the only contact you will be able to have with a potential client or employer. Make it the best you can. First impressions count on paper too. You may never get to that handshake if you print your resume on plain copy paper. The proven quality of Southworth Resume Paper lets your professionalism shine through.

Cricket Wantland is a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington and is a Certified Consultant of Corporate Etiquette, International Protocol and Children’s Etiquette. She lives in Southern California and offers classes and training to all ages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or check out her website at http://www.poisepolishpanache.com/

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  1. smartin
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Such great advice that we can all put into practice today!

  2. Jane Johnson
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    thanks, Cricket! …good advice.

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