search cancel

13 Tips For Making A Great First Impression At Meetings

Quick: What’s your best tip for leaving a great first impression at a meeting?

First Impression


1. Do Your Homework BeforehandBrett-Farmiloe

“There’s nothing that impresses me more than someone who shows up fully prepared and has done his homework. Knowledge improves conversations and makes for a productive meeting (and a great first impression).”



2. Greet Everyone by NameAndrew Schrage

“Remembering names is a challenge for most, but if you can master that skill, you will surely impress at your next meeting.”

– ANDREW SCHRAGEMoney Crashers Personal Finance


3. Be PresentCOREY BLAKE

“Allow yourself to be fully present with that person. Allow the outcome to be irrelevant, and calm the self-talk. Just be with them. Presence is a gift you give to yourself first and then to others. In three minutes, you might feel that you’ll never do business with that person, but stay present to them anyway. Nothing leaves a greater impression than holding the space between you as sacred.”

– COREY BLAKERound Table Companies


4. Give a Good HandshakeNatalie MacNeil

“It amazes me how many people have weak handshakes. For a strong handshake, look the person in the eyes and firmly shake her hand for a couple seconds. A weak handshake doesn’t exude confidence at all. Remember that a handshake is often your first interaction with people and the last interaction as you’re leaving a meeting, so it’s an important element of your overall impression.”

– NATALIE MACNEILShe Takes on the World


5. Put Your Phone AwayKELLY AZEVEDO, She's Got Systems

“If you’re not mentally in the meeting, then you’re missing important non-verbal cues and disrespecting your colleagues. Turn off the phone completely, and focus all of your attention on the people in the room. Checking messages or taking a call — even once — conveys that someone else is more important, and that’s an impression that’s hard to overcome.”

– KELLY AZEVEDOShe’s Got Systems


6. Give Free ValueDANNY WONG

“Meetings are a cumbersome routine. While many meetings end with a courtesy smile, many participants walk away thinking, “Was that worth my time?” Even if you don’t end up working together, make sure the other party at least leaves with something free and useful (like an introduction to someone who can help them). This demonstrates you’re thinking about the relationship more than the transaction.”

– DANNY WONGBlank Label


7. Ask Great QuestionsDarrah Brustein

“In any conversation, it’s best to ask genuine and thoughtful questions about the other person — especially before diving in to talk about yourself. Don’t do this with the expectation that it’s an exchange for the time you’ll speak because that insincerity will show. Ask and listen because you want to learn and help the other person first before addressing your needs.”

– DARRAH BRUSTEINNetwork Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids


8. Talk About More Than YourselfALLIE SIARTO

“If you want to build rapport in a meeting, don’t make it all about you. I always make a point to start by asking questions about the other person or people in meetings. This gives me a better idea of who I’m talking to so that I can shape what I present to meet their needs.”



9. Be Genuinely InterestedJAY WU

“The best way to leave a great first impression at a meeting is to be genuinely interested in the other party. Ask questions and listen to answers. Be comfortable allowing someone else to speak while you simply soak up what he has to say. Be patient as he explains himself. Every human being wants to be heard and will appreciate your interest in what he is saying.”

– JAY WUA Forever Recovery


10. Be HonestJessica-Butcher

“Honesty is the best sales tool. Proactively acknowledging a client or potential client’s reservations or possible disappointments before he does can catch him off guard. This demonstrates a refreshing self-awareness and honesty that he can trust for a long-term partnership. Do that and make him laugh, and the deal’s done.”



11. Be TransparentMITCH GORDON

“People love transparency. It’s still relatively rare. It will set you apart and make you seem genuine and approachable. It also forces you to think about whether you’re doing things the right way. If you have to share, it had better be good! Being transparent is also the right thing to do and will reflect well on you and your company.”



12. Send a Thank-You NotVANESSA NORNBERG

“One of my favorite English teachers told me that classy people send thank you notes. Thanking someone for taking the time to meet with you by sending a handwritten, thoughtful note lets her know that you value the relationship you are building with her and are willing to put in the work needed to make it thrive.”



13. Use Your Body LanguageBrennan-White 100

“By the time of the meeting, you either know your product or service down pat, or you don’t. Advice can’t affect this. One piece of advice that can help on game day is to watch your body language. You want to project respectful confidence. Maintain eye contact. Smile slowly and genuinely. Take deep breaths and pause before you speak.”




Originally published by StartupCollective.


Photo Credits


Author : Young Entrepreneur Council

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Share This Post On