How to Make a Positive First Impression
Every relationship – whether personal or business – starts with a first impression. The right body language and conversation takes just seconds to set the stage for a winning impression.
Before words are said, your body says a lot. A full, firm handshake and good standing posture shows confidence. Steady, relaxed eye contact shows interest and says you are listening. Try to avoid staring too long, as to make others uncomfortable. A sincere smile also breaks the ice and expresses a relaxed confidence. Imagine how important this is for a job interview or a first date. Leaning slightly toward the speaker is inviting and shows that you are involved in the conversation. Nod your head to show understanding. "Research has found 80 percent of what you ‘say’ is in your body language," says Diane Paul-Brown, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Start a conversation with a simple question to get the words flowing. Asking questions gives the other person an opportunity to contribute his or her thoughts. This positions you as a good listener. Say something nice about someone. Imagine how important a positive, interested attitude is at a party or in a new job. Remember that a conversation involves more than one person. Be concise and do not monopolize the conversation. "Your audience will think more highly of your communication skills—and of you," when conversation is kept short, says Paul-Brown.
Image shouldn't matter…but it does. Psychologists tell us it takes less than 15 seconds for others to form an impression of us, and they base their impression on what they see. In that short time, they assume your social status, your economic status, your educational level, and your likelihood of succeeding. You represent the company. Your appearance must reflect that at all times.…
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