By Vanessa Helmer
Modeling Exper, about.com
Modeling is an incredibly social career – from photo shoots to go-sees to networking events, your life as a model will include being introduced to new people every day. If you aren’t making a great first impression, you could risk missing out on great work opportunities and damaging professional relationships. The problem is, many people don’t realize they are making a poor first impression until it’s too late. You’ll have a much better chance of making a fantastic first impression if you go into new situations prepared to do so. There are a few simple tricks you can use in any situation that involves meeting new people that will ensure the people you meet are left impressed by you and wanting more, rather than forgetting you or thinking poorly of you. Here are four of them.
1. Eye Contact
Most of us grew up being reminded to make eye contact when speaking to someone, but this often falls by the wayside. Many times, you might not realize that you are not making eye contact, which is why reminding yourself to do so before you meet people is a good idea.
When you’re a model trying to make new connections and network, making eye contact with people you meet when you are speaking will go a long way to making a great impression. Eye contact can be a useful skill for runway models who are instructed to engage with the audience. If you’re used to making eye contact with people you don’t know, being told to do so for a job won’t be nearly as intimidating.
2. Firm Handshake
Another important aspect of making a great first impression as a model (or anyone!) is to have a firm handshake when you greet people – whether they’re in the industry or not. A limp handshake signifies disinterest or apathy, and when you’re meeting people you may work with and can help advance your modeling career, the last thing you want to come across as is disinterested! You certainly don’t have to use a death-grip handshake, but a firm grip will demonstrate your interest in the interaction.
3. Answer AND Ask Questions
It’s one thing to answer questions (and if you’re a model, people will tend to have a lot of questions for you!) but asking whomever you’re speaking to questions in return will help you make a good impression on them. Appearing interested in others makes you a more dynamic and friendly figure, and the best part is, you will learn a lot of interesting things about the people you meet. Engaging in conversation with people you meet will make it more likely you come to mind for them when any future opportunities for which you might be a great fit come up.
4. Use People’s Names
Repeating a person’s name after they’ve introduced themselves to you will not only help you remember their name, it’s another critical way to express your interest in the interaction. Bonus: Next time you run into that person, you’ll have a better chance of remembering their name and that is very impressive to most people, and this often catches them off guard.
If you begin utilizing these steps in your interactions, you’ll quickly become not only a memorable and impressive fashion model, but you’ll be a model first-impressionist as well!
If you’re an aspiring model, these tips will certainly help you make a great impression at go-sees, auditions, and call backs, but there is a lot more to getting booked than just leaving a good impression on the people you meet. Being a great model is a combination of qualities that extends far beyond how you look. It’s about being “the total package” and making a great first impression helps make sure you get the chance to show off your modeling skills!