Meeting new people is always an exciting experience. In the professional world, meeting new people is an opportunity for us to extend our network and build relationships with professionals in our field.
But encountering new people is in no way limited to the professional world. In fact, most of the new people we encounter our in our personal lives.
I had a particularly unique experience meeting new people this month at the Panhellenic Recruitment Expo at Syracuse University. As some of you know, I am the recruitment chair for my sorority — this means that I am in charge of organizing recruitment events to select new members for our chapter. The Panhellenic Recruitment Expo was an information session where potential new members could get more information about formal recruitment and ask the women of the chapters question about rush.
I was in charge of telling interested women about the “Do’s and Don’t’s” of recruitment. In short, I introduced myself to a ton of girls that were lingering around my table. I had to give them each a 30 second brief on what to do and what not to do during recruitment. But besides disseminating information, I had another goal: to get them to like me.
Now, it’s a lot easier said then done. After talking with a countless number of complete strangers for almost two hours, I was able to come up with a few quick tips on how to get someone to like you in a matter of seconds.
Be open. Physically and mentally.
1) Open your shoulders and your arms into a position where you could easily reach around someone’s waist. It sounds strange, I know, but it works!
2) Use your hands to talk (but don’t go over board).
3) Keep an open mind. Having a open mentality will manifest itself in your body language and facial expressions, which will draw new people to you.
Remember, your body language is everything when it comes to first impressions. At the expo, I found that women were more likely to approach me if I was smiling and holding my arms by my side (never cross your arms. That says “go away”).
Crack a joke.
Jokes always break the ice. Now I’m not telling you to lay a knock-knock joke on them, that will only increase the awkwardness. Instead, make light about the situation you’re in or even make fun of yourself. Don’t over think it, just laugh. For example, I laughed with the girls at expo about how overwhelming the situation was by commenting on the huge room full of people all waiting to answer the questions they didn’t have (you catch my drift).
Just remember to avoid comments that could potentially be offensive. You never know who you are talking to!
Get on their level.
If you’re relatable, you’re likable. Do not exert dominance over the person you are meeting by flaunting yourself, what you know, or who you know. Connect with them on a human level by pointing out similarities you may have.
These are just a few simple ideas to keep in mind while meeting new people — if you perform them successfully, you may make a new connection!<