We all strive to be memorable. But leaving a great first impression takes some effort.
As it turns out, with the right words and actions, almost anyone can create a captivating presence.
To help you figure out how to do this, we looked at the answers posted on Quora in response to the question, "How do I become more memorable when meeting someone for the first time?"
Here were some of our favorite tips for making yourself memorable when you first meet someone new:
1. Put on your talking hat
If you actively participate in the conversation, you're more likely to get noticed.
Julian Reisinger, a Quora user and co-founder of Lovelifesolved.com, wrote that by asking questions, showing interest, and sharing stories or anecdotes, you're more likely to make a lasting impression and forge a connection with someone.
"People will never remember the guy who just stands there and says nothing," Reisinger writes.
2. Be blunt, controversial, and honest
Most people avoid saying anything controversial — especially when meeting someone for the first time — because they want to play it safe to ensure everyone likes them.
But if you really want to be memorable, you may want to make a statement — without insulting anyone or saying something offensive, of course.
"You can't become memorable by always playing it safe," Reisinger writes.
That doesn't mean you have to be an outlier, but by speaking your mind firmly and clearly and having an opinion, you will become more interesting and as a result more memorable, he writes.
3. Be a little bit unusual
Breaking out of the cultural norm is an easy way to stick out, Reisinger writes, but try to stick out in a positive way.
For example, he suggests coming up with humorous and unique answers to the typical introductory questions such as "How are you?" or "What do you do?"
While coming up with scripted answers may seem like a pain, he points out that you will have to answer these questions thousands of times throughout your life anyway, so it's well worth the effort.
4. Use confident body language
Rob Riker, the founder of The Social Winner blog, says confident body language does more than make you look good— it helps you make a great first impression.
To do this, Riker suggests suggests having a firm handshake, standing up straight, and maintaining eye contact both while listening and speaking.
If you aren't talking with anyone for a few minutes, then he says you should look out in front of you, rather than at the ground. "You are engaging with the world, not hiding from it," he writes.
He also says you should "own the space around you." This means not sitting on the edge of a bench so other people have more room than you, or acting embarrassed if your arm touches someone else's arm. "Take what's yours without being a jerk," he writes.
5. Trigger emotions
This piece of advice from Reisinger stems from author and poet Maya Angelou's famous quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
In order to leave a deep impression on someone, you need to make them feel something, and preferably something good.
How do you do that in a casual conversation? Reisenger suggests showing vulnerability, making other people laugh, making a mistake and apologizing for it, stroking someone's ego, telling stories, being helpful, or discussing a topic in a heated manner.
6. Be an engaged listener
Journalist Becky Blanton says the the most important thing in being memorable is learning to listen. "The most popular and memorable people in the world are those who give us their undivided and full attention," she writes.
Like Reisinger and Angelou, Blanton says that we remember how people make us feel, and "nothing makes us feel warmer, better, loved or important than having the authentic and focused attention of someone else."
"When first meeting someone, you want to be smiling," writes Riker. "This shows that you are happy, in a good mood, enjoying life and happy to meet them. Smiling also triggers the other person's mirror neurons which produce the feeling that their own smile would provide — a happy feeling!
8. Use their name in the conversation
"A really effective way to be 'memorable' to the other person is to use their name in conversation," writes Kara Ronin, a social skills expert and Udemy instructor.
It tells them you were paying attention and that you care.
"Our name is intrinsically linked to us," she explains. "Whenever we hear somebody use our name we immediately think, 'Oh, he/she must really like me because they remember what my name is.' Of course, you don't want to use their name with a tone of voice that suggests you're reprimanding them."
9. Appreciate the positive in things
Riker suggests putting more energy into seeing the positive side of things rather than the negative. For example, you can say,"'Oh, I love that it's cold because now I get to bundle up and really enjoy a warm cup of coffee,' rather than complaining that it's cold."
"Everyone is drawn to the person having the most fun," writes Lukas Schwekendiek, a life coach, speaker, and writer. "If someone is the light of the party, they will grab the most attention."
10. Be interested in their story
"People love nothing more than to be valued by someone else," Schwekendiek writes. "When we feel like we matter to someone we open up, feel secure and come back with the same level of interest. Everyone loves to talk about themselves!"
Remember that everyone has a story and their own point of view on the world. It's your job to find out what that is.
Jacquelyn Smith and Natalie Walters contributed to a previous version of this article.