We’ve all been in this situation: You’re approaching someone whom you’ve never met before, and you’re nervous about making a good first impression. How do you communicate effectively with this stranger, and what can you do to ensure that your conversation goes well? Here are a few tips that can help you become a more seasoned communicator so you can be more confident the next time you meet someone.
(1) Have a firm handshake. You hear this all of the time; from executives to friends, a firm handshake is a sign of confidence and respect. Although this may seem repetitive, a handshake is the first thing a person will notice, so make sure that they know you’re confident and comfortable with the situation.
(2) Smile. There’s nothing worse than speaking to someone who appears to have absolutely no energy. By smiling you help whomever you’re speaking to relax and feel more confident.
(3) Maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact is important during a conversation. It shows the person you are speaking with that you’re invested in what they have to say! If you’re easily distracted, try to focus on the person’s eye color while speaking with them. By doing this, you’ll be able to concentrate on what they have to say instead of shifting your gaze to other places.
(4) Nod. Nodding is an excellent tool in human communication. By nodding you’re offering positive reinforcement to the person you’re communicating with, and you’re also coming off as less confrontational and more rational. You don’t have to agree with what an individual is saying, but by nodding you acknowledge that you understand what they are saying and you respect their opinion.
(5) Relax and be yourself. There is no need to be stiff or nervous in a conversation; because believe me, it shows. You speak to people every single day of your life, so meeting someone new is nothing different. Try to relax, be yourself, and you’ll be more confident and comfortable.