Bumped You only get once chance to make a first impression, and it is as important, if not more so, to make it strong in an online environment, compared to in real life. The key to the world, and indeed the internet, are connections; even though sociologists believe that the internet has disconnected us from each other, it couldn’t be further from the truth, and getting to know the right people, and simple making bonds and friendships, is an essential part of the world we live in.
In this article, I will explain the key assets you should focus in on in order to make a good first impression when presenting yourself to new users, or members of a new community; online, it is all about your personality. In most cases, the other party cannot see, or even hear you, so many of your insecurities that you may face in the real world are eradicated. They assume that they are speaking to the real you, as it is more direct. This means there is less room for error, and your delivery has to be that of a sniper.
This is crucial.
A fundamental building block of trust is intelligence. If you come across as knowing your specialisation and sublimating an idea of astuteness into your conversation, you are onto a winner. The biggest killjoy of this perfect scenario is bad spelling; no mater how coerent adn advancd your knowldge may be if it is nto delivred corretly you will come off as less trusting and that prson will see your relatinship as less valuble. This also includes bad grammar or typos.
If you are extremely prone to these mistakes, you may have better luck forming relationships over voice servers, due to the obvious absence of serious text communication.
This may seem blatant, however the amount of people I meet who take no care with their spelling is astronomical, and I instantly label them negatively.
This applies to both text and voice introductions.
You need to show them that you aren’t a sociopathic weird bloke, and that you are just like anyone else. Use carefully placed emoticons in text chat, and try and add satirical humor to your deliveries; in voice chat, make sure your tone and intonation are varying, to keep them interested and to show that you are listening to what they are saying.
However, too much emotion can lead to them thinking that you are neurotically unstable and untrustworthy, therefore detracting from the desired effect. Do not overload with emoticons in text chats, and stick to a structured and rational conversation the first time you meet, as differences in personal opinion that arise may break any potential bond.
Capitalize on your differences
Unlike real life, there are very few factors that make you stand out from the crowd. You are just a user with a name… with the ability to type or talk.
You don’t want to be an average Joe, and if the person you are talking to is well connected, you will become forgettable, thus no relationship will be created.
A remedy to this problem is to ‘capitalise on your differences’. An example of this is when I, a Brit, talk to Americans. I make sure I try and slide in as many references to Brittany as possible, as they will clearly remember my patriotism and enthusiasm to the cause. This makes them more likely to remember and like you, as you come off as unique and enthusiastic. Like before, this can have a detracting effect if used in excess.
This is especially applicable to voice chats. If you are nervous, you will also sound it; people pick up on micro-signals all the time, and this is no exception. Even though it is hard, you have to hold yourself in high regard, and be prepared to put yourself out of your comfort zone if you wish to meet new people. Your approach should be firm and authoritative, leaving little room for doubts in your mind.
If you think they don’t like you, or if they are acting towards you in an unfriendly manner, don’t blame yourself, but them for not trying. Even though it may not always be the case, if you persist, you will more than likely make matters worse, which has a negative knock-on effect to your ego. Get rid of the nasty pasties before they do damage to you.
I have seen many instances of people changing their voice (both intentionally and unintentionally) when talking to new people on voice servers. This not only makes you sound goofy and unnatural, but also tells people that you lack in confidence to be yourself, and that you are trying to paint a distorted picture of your personality. This gives connotations that you have something to hide, which decreases trust.
Have a great opener
Another thing to add to your uniqueness is your opening line. ‘Ayup lad’, is mine. This is not only quirky and reflects my difference as a Brit, but also shows you to be more friendly than someone who simply opens with ‘Greetings’, or a generic ‘Hello’. These are mundane, boring and in some cases too formal for a healthy relationship to set off to a good start.
Research has also showed that if your greeting is followed up by a question, such as ‘how has your day been?’, the receiving party will hold a more positive perception of you. Try to limit how much you do this to one person on repeat occasions though, as it can come off as extremely patronizing and try-hard.
Profanity and rudeness is ill-advised on first connection. Stay away from these, as they not only make you look less intelligent by highlighting an apparent lack of vocabulary and self-control, but also breath negative energy into the situation – don’t do it.
Have a good profile
It doesn’t matter if you’ve ticked all of the above boxes if your username is ‘xxx_pr0sn1p3rz_xxx’, and your profile contains derogatory or rude language. To get a better understanding of you, some people may visit your profile. Your profile is a reflection of you, and you should make it represent yourself in the best possible way if you are to take forming relationships seriously.