14 Ways to Make a Memorable First Impression

You Need to Be Creative in How You Introduce Yourself

How do you want someone to remember you? Sometimes you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are 14 ways to be memorable.

How many times have we heard it?

First impressions count.

We all want that first impression to be a good one, whether we’re meeting a new boss or a prospective client or a networking connection.

A lot of it comes down to being absolutely scrupulous about the basics.

Here are 14 of the best ways to introduce yourself:

1.  Remember their name. Using people’s name in conversation signals respect–which leaves a great impression with them. As a bonus, it will help you remember their name in the future. People tend to value their name, so let them hear it.

2.  Dress to impress. Being well dressed isn’t at all about spending lots of money or being flashy. It means your clothes are appropriate to the occasion and season, clean, in good repair and  age-appropriate.

3. Speak their language. Learning a new language lets you communicate with more people–and it helps them feel more comfortable. Especially if you’re going to be routinely doing business with native speakers, it’s time well spent. Even if you only have time to learn a few phrases, most people will appreciate the effort.

4.  Act confident. Nervousness is natural, but confidence is key to making a great impression. It shows others that you are sure of yourself and you know what you’re doing. Don’t take it too far and risk sounding arrogant, though.

5.  Project positivity. Your attitude shows through in everything you do. When you project a positive attitude and maintain an upbeat manner, you are perceived as more intelligent and attractive.

6.  Be a problem solver. Build a reputation as someone who sees issues objectively, doesn’t create drama or add to the problems, but brings the intelligence, creativity, and resourcefulness needed to solve them.

7.  Strive to inspire. Focus on inspiring others. Sharing your vision and enthusiasm may help them achieve something great–or at least take aim. It’s a great thing to be remembered for.

8.  Be interesting. If you are truly engaged in learning about someone, they will consider you interesting. Ask questions, stay curious, and listen attentively. Interesting is as interesting does.

9. Look for common ground. When you meet new people, the first thing you should do is look for areas of your life that you can connect with them. It can be a hobby, sports, work, music–anything you have in common. This creates an immediate bond and gives you something to fall back on in conversation.

 10. Seek the story. Being well-informed is one thing that can help you make a great impression. Know as much as you can about who you’re talking to and their context. Then take advantage of your conversation to learn more. The general rule: Listen more, speak less.

11. Listen attentively. Listening means you don’t zone out, check your phone, or look over their shoulder or past their head to see what’s happening elsewhere in the room. Listening means paying close attention to what is being said, signaling your attention with eye contact and body language, and asking relevant questions.

12.  Share a compliment. Compliments make people feel good about themselves, and that’s a good thing for you to be associated with. Just make sure you don’t sound glib or insincere.

13. Have a winning smile. A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. Don’t go overboard–a tense frozen-in-place smile is almost worse than frowning. Be natural and remember, as Tyra Banks says, to smize–smile with your eyes.

14.  Be helpful. You can help a new person get oriented, help someone having trouble navigate their way through, watch someone’s belongings. If there’s a way you can find to be helpful to the person you’re meeting, be quick to take advantage. It puts the new relationship, and you, in a positive light.

Every new person we meet is a new opportunity to learn. Approach everyone you meet with an open heart and mind and you’re bound to make a great impression.

This article was originally published at Inc.com.