What is that certain Je ne sais quoi that lets some people pique a potential client’s curiosity during a casual conversation? How do they manage to fit in so easily with new coworkers and create strong connections in a snap?
It’s easier than you think to become the captivating person who always makes a good impression. Here are six ways to be so interesting that no one will need your business card to remember you. Well, almost.
1. Bet on authenticity
How, you ask? Simply by being yourself. You are already interesting, because you’re unique and fascinating in your own way. With transparency, integrity and honesty, you can instill trust and forge strong bonds with others, two vital elements in every relationship, personal and professional alike. For Stéphanie Leblanc, Associate Partner, Consulting & Deals at PwC Canada, there is no doubt that authenticity is key. “The added value for an organization or team is brought by the sum of its people. When you’re authentic, you’re your own kind of different.”
2. Read something besides your emails
Interesting people read broadly and voraciously. When you’re up to speed on current events and increase your general knowledge, you have new ways of breaking the ice with a new contact or keeping the conversation going before a meeting. Also, make it a habit to stay up-to-date in your sector of activity. You’ll be seen as a go-to person and others will think of you when they need an opinion or a solution to a problem.
3. Be strategic
Meeting with a potential client or employer? Be well-prepared. Go on the company website to understand their concerns and the professional reality of their business, and try to pinpoint some mutual contacts and interests. This way, you can approach them with a topic connected to their daily life, or even better, offer them exactly what they need.
4. Go on an adventure
This is the first lesson put forward by Jessica Hagy, author and illustrator of the book How to be interesting. It doesn’t necessarily mean trekking in Nepal (although that can work too). Hagy mostly encourages you to be curious, to “explore ideas, places, and opinions.” In other words, seeking out alternate frames of reference to expand your horizons and your mind. How? Join a committee, take a posting abroad or challenge yourself to talk with someone new every day. Not only will you have less fear of the unknown and more empathy, but you’ll be able to assess and depict situations from multiple perspectives. All useful qualities for growing as a person, innovating at work and making a good impression.
5. Be interesting and interested
Being interesting isn’t the same as self-promoting. It’s also taking an interest in others! Engage sincerely in conversation. Without prying, ask questions and request details; in short, get the other person to open up. When the conversation ends, “they will remember you as one of the most interesting people they ever met,” confirms American lawyer and entrepreneur Stephanie Vardavas.
6. Share your ideas and opinions the right way
People who never commit rarely get noticed. Don’t be afraid to express your ideas and opinions. By being clear, concise, open to criticism and respectful of others’ opinions, you adopt an attitude that is both positive and proactive. This way, whether your views win unanimous support or not, you’ll be applauded for your quick wit and never be mistaken for wallpaper.
A little bonus: smile!
In the end, an infectious good mood will instantly make you more interesting and pleasant in everyone’s eyes. It will also let you be more relaxed.