How to Make a Positive First Impression on Everyone You Meet

Making a positive impression is incredibly important. Research shows that the people you meet make judgments on your traits, lifestyle and more within a few seconds of seeing you and it can take time to change these initial perceptions. As a business owner, job-seeker, or anyone in between, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re projecting the right image and sharing the messages you want to be shared.

Here are a few tips on how to make a positive first impression on everyone you meet.

Practise your handshake

Step one when meeting someone new is often shaking hands. You want to make sure yours is firm, which says you’re confident. If your handshake is too soft, it won’t help you make the best impression.

Smile and make eye contact

Always smile when you meet someone new. This shows you’re friendly and excited to connect with this individual.  They are more likely to stay in conversation with you if they like the person you are and feel you’re engaged in what they are saying.

Remember names

This is often the most difficult task when meeting someone new, but it will go a long way in helping make a positive impression. Repeat their name back to them right away when you’ve been introduced and use it throughout your conversation. If you’re going to a meeting or interview and know the names of the people you will be connecting with, memorize them before attending. If you can, use online tools like LinkedIn as well to see if you have anything in common to help break the ice.

Listen attentively

When you’re in conversation with someone, really focus on what they are saying and respond appropriately. It can be tempting to listen, while at the same time planning your response in your mind. Conversations are much more meaningful when each individual takes the time to understand the other person’s perspective.

Stand tall

Body language says a lot more than your words do. Even if you don’t feel confident, stand tall with your shoulders back and head held high.

Present yourself appropriately

Dress for the situation. Present a neat, clean and tidy appearance, but don’t be afraid to show a little bit of personality in your outfit. A great piece of jewelry or patterned blouse can be a conversation starter and will help you stand out from the crowd. Incorporate elements of your style personality.

I hope these tips help! Happy holidays to all.

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Video: Making You and Your Style a Priority

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Making yourself a priority is so important. In this video, I talk about how style is a form of self-care and why it’s important to give your attention to.

Dream Big!

My current read, aka “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You,” has a harsh title, yet is surprisingly full of inspirational tidbits. The book is a biography of Kelly Cutrone, American fashion publicist, television personality and author, detailing her rise to the top and struggles along the way (reality TV fans, you may recognize the name from MTV’s The Hills or The City!).

At the age of 21, Cutrone moved to New York City with few possessions and little direction. While she pursued a traditional job initially, it did not suit her personality. It took losing her job, her apartment, and her identity to finally set her on the right track. By facing these hurdles, and accepting the unique opportunities she was given, Cutrone found her strength and worked hard to prove herself in the fashion industry.

“Sometimes, if not most of the time, you find out who you are by figuring out who and what you are not.”

These “rising from the ashes” stories permeate our culture, and while the common response may be that these kinds of things don’t happen to people me, or I can’t live the life I’ve always dreamed, you would be wrong. We’re born dreamers. Everything of value in our world started as a dream. They are necessary for us to see the world how it should be rather than how it is. If you can dream it, you can live it. It’s about making things happen for yourself and pursuing your passions full throttle.

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Personally, I’ve always had an interest in fashion. While it is not what I studied in school, I’ve always wanted to help others look and feel their best. This is why I studied to be a Style CoachTM and why I do what I do. My blog has turned into an amazing career where I get to help others dream big, and use style as a tool to help them achieve their goals.

Our community is full of everyday heroes, actively shaping their futures and rolling with life’s punches. They view setbacks, e.g. losing a job, as opportunities to pursue their passions. Readers, I am here to tell you that you can do the same. Whether you want to study abroad, learn a new language, visit all 7 wonders of the world, or start your own business, you can do it! You just need to start by taking small steps towards your goals. Take Jessica Burman, owner of local skincare line Cocoon Apothecary for example. After losing her job, she pursued her passion for natural beauty and launched an amazing skincare line which continues to grow each and every year. Bravo!

If you’re looking for inspiration, look to those around you. With a support network in place and a little bravery, you can do anything you set your mind to.

“Dreams won’t always take you on a straight path to destiny, but they’re usually related to what your soul wants for you.”

Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Believe in Yourself
  2. Find and Listen to your Inner Voice
  3. Focus on Building a Tribe
  4. Work Hard
  5. Give Back

Be excited about your life, enjoy the journey, and most of all, dream big!

Wear Out There is Officially a Business!

Hi friends,

I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you so much for your support of this blog. My experiences writing it the past few years have inspired me to become a certified Style CoachTM and launch Wear Out There as a business. I now work one-on-one with individuals to develop a style they love, and host group workshops. I also am available for virtual consultations via skype and will help you determine your body shape and style personality.

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To stay up-to-date with Wear Out There, and connect with me, please visit www.wearoutthere.ca. I’ll be sharing daily on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. for style tips on how to dress for your body shape, follow my Pinterest page as well.

Take care lovelies.

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Stylish Social Enterprises – Doing Good Through Fashion

Our purchases do make a difference. With the holiday season fast approaching, now may be the perfect time to support fabulous causes without compromising on style. My column in this month’s Community Cord discusses how.

See below.

Shop Local

I’m often asked whether our individual purchases really make a difference, and my answer is always yes. Consumers have more influence over the products that are produced, and future products that are being developed, than we may realize. With every business striving to make a profit, they look to consumer behaviour to drive their innovation, product development, and marketing decisions to increase the likelihood that us consumers will choose their products over a competitor’s.

A 2013 Business Development Bank of Canada study called “Five Game-Changing Consumer Trends” identified a “Made in Canada” advantage for businesses, as social and environmental concerns have become increasingly influential in consumer purchasing decisions.

The commercial landscape has changed for retailers and they must adapt to meet new consumer standards. Canadians do their research before making a purchase and a majority are now trying to buy local, with many willing to pay a premium for goods that boast a Made in Canada label.

As a result of these shifting attitudes, new businesses are popping up that place doing good at the centre of their business model. These are called social enterprises. From Tom’s Shoes, which give shoes to children in need, to tentree, which plants 10 trees for every purchase, shopping for a cause has gone mainstream.

It’s true that it can be challenging to see how our individual purchases make a difference, but Carmen Clubiné, a local jewelry designer, makes it clear that they can. She created her jewelry line, Alfaro Clubiné, in partnership with Joel, a 23-year-old hearing impaired man living in Paraguay who had few options for employment in his community.

“When our friend in Paraguay met Joel, he had a temper because he really couldn’t communicate with anyone,” explained Carmen. “He was frustrated, and it got to the point where his own community didn’t want him around.”

When Joel was young, he attended school for a while, but it wasn’t set up to meet his needs. As a result, he had a lot of time on his hands, and his older brothers taught him how to work with filigree silver. When they moved away to make a living elsewhere, things changed for the entire family.

“Joel wasn’t in a good place when our friend met him, but when he started working, he became a different person,” said Carmen. “For me, that was the wow moment. Alfaro Clubiné is making a big difference in the life of a man, his family, and his community.”

This is one example of a local social enterprise that, with your support, can continue to positively influence another person’s life. Many more exist in Waterloo Region, and with style and impact combined in a business, it is now easier than ever to engage in socially-conscious purchasing.

Our consumption decisions add up, and big businesses pay attention. Our purchases make a difference, and isn’t that a beautiful thing?