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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Gazdecki

4 Keys to Making the Best First Impression

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Image credit: Shutterstock

Do you know how to make a good first impression? We all think we know the basics: immaculate hair and/or makeup, a nice suit, good personal hygiene, a winning smile and a strong handshake. But there are actually other things you can and should do, things that aren’t quite as obvious, in order to make the best first impression.

Consider this:

  • 33 percent of professionals know within 90 seconds of meeting a person if they will offer them a job

  • Most people judge a person trustworthy or not within one-tenth of a second

  • The average brain determines if a person is likable before they even notice the person’s gender

So what does that mean?

According to Malcolm Gladwell, author of the best-selling book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” Gladwell introduced the concept of “thin slicing,” which is the process by which a person decides if characteristics including attractiveness, intelligence and more make them likable or not. Knowing this information can help you make a better first impression, by picking up on and modifying the little cues that people don’t even realize they notice. We have laid out a few tips for making a great first impression with ease.

1. Respect yourself

Non-verbal cues account for 55 percent of all communication. That’s huge. It’s about how you carry yourself, and present yourself not just the way you dress or wear your hair. It lies in your body language and self-confidence. Obviously having good immaculate clothes and better hygiene is important, but how you carry yourself is what makes the difference.

2. Pay attention to your status

What do we mean by status? Status is how you are perceived and it’s all in the way you move and dress. That old adage “Dress for Success” is true -- dress and carry yourself as if you’re already in a position of power, and you may achieve one. Take pride in your appearance. That doesn’t mean the most expensive outfit on the rack necessarily, but you definitely need to be well-put together one, and well groomed.

3. Intelligence

Eye contact is a major factor. According to a study done by Nora A Murphy, PhD, at Loyala Marymount University, eye contact is directly related to how people perceive your intelligence. Learning to make and hold eye contact can really make a difference in how people perceive you while you speak. Also: raise your eyebrows. Opening your eyes wide while conversing with others conveys recognition and acceptance.

4. Likability

Attitude is important. People can read you like a sign if you have a bad attitude. Give people a genuine smile when you meet them, and no off-putting or cold body language. Give them a firm handshake with a friendly demeanor and it can make all the difference. Lean in, keep your eyes wide and show that you’re engaged with the person.



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