Question: Quick: your best tip for leaving a great first impression at a meeting?
"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."
Put Your Phone Away
"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."
Give a Good Handshake
"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."
Do Your Homework Beforehand
"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). "
Greet Everyone by Name
"Remembering names is a challenge for most, but if you can master that skill, you will surely impress at your next meeting."
Ask Great Questions
"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."
"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."
Send a Thank-You Note
"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."
Use Your Body Language
"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."