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First Impressions: 8 Science Backed Strategies To Make a Lasting Impression

Perfect Your Handshake

People can judge our personality from handshakes alone. What does yours say?

Your goal is that your nonverbal shows whomever you’re interacting with that you’re calm, confident and powerful. You can do this with a launch stance.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

First Impressions: 8 Science Backed Strategies To Make a Lasting Impression

First Impressions: 8 Science Backed Strategies To Make a Lasting Impression

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/first-impressions/

scienceofpeople.com

7

Key Ideas

Thin-Slicing

Studies have found that we not only decide if we like someone in the first few seconds, but also that the first impression stays with us.

Thin-slicing is when we take a mental snapshot of someone and guess their competence, confidence and likability in less than a second. 

Self-Evaluation

Choose ONE word from this list of adjectives or pick your own to fill in the blank. When people first meet me, they think I am_____

  • Charismatic or boring
  • Outgoing or shy
  • Kind or judgmental
  • Intelligent or weird
  • Open or closed
  • Powerful or weak
  • Engaging or odd
  • Professional or casual

Did you pick a positive word? Or a negative word? You have to know where you stand now to move to where you want to be.

Ideal Firsts

How can you ensure people are judging you accurately and also seeing your best side? 

The most important thing to do for giving a good impression is to set your intention. Right now pick your ideal first impression word. When people first meet me, I want them to see me as_______.

Perfect Your Handshake

People can judge our personality from handshakes alone. What does yours say?

Your goal is that your nonverbal shows whomever you’re interacting with that you’re calm, confident and powerful. You can do this with a launch stance.

Stand in a Launch Position

Your stance is actually more important than your posture.
  • Your toes – which should always be pointed toward the person you are speaking with.
  • Your hands – should always be visible and ideally expressive as you speak.
  • Your arms – should always be loose so there is space between your torso and arms so you can gesture and easily reach out to shake hands.
  • Your shoulders – which should be down and back so they look nice and relaxed. They also should be angled towards the person you are interacting with.
  • Your chin – which should be neutral so you are not looking up at someone or sneering down at someone.

Avoid bad days

There is almost no way to make a good first impression if you are having a bad day. If you have to go to an event, find a way to snap yourself out of your bad mood. 

Working out, calling a friend or watching funny or inspiring YouTube videos before events often gets you in a more social, feel-good mood.

Think about your ornaments

Clothes, makeup, jewelry, watches, and shoes are all types of ornamentation, and people definitely take these into account when making initial judgments.

Get some of your favorite outfits or ornaments together and ask friends you trust what they think of when they see them. 

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Show confidence in your body language

When you’re nervous, it shows in the way you’re standing or what you’re doing with your hands. The same goes for when you’re confident. Standing tall and making eye contact shows confidence. 

If you need a quick boost of confidence, take a power pose. One great power pose is the wonder woman – your hands on your hips, legs out in a V shape, shoulders and back straight, and chin slightly up. 

Be aware of the way you speak
  • Speak clearly and with an even tone. Not too loud or too quiet, as you could come across as dominating or shy.
  • Using filler words such as ‘um’ or ‘so’ or filling in gaps with ‘like’ or ‘you know’ will make you seem less knowledgeable. Pay special attention to your usage of the word ‘like’.
  • If you need time to compose your thoughts, simply pause, or restate the question.

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First impressions

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Know your context

It’s important to first consider where you are trying to make a good impression—whether it’s a formal job interview or a dinner date. 

Context matters. It gives you cues as to how you should dress, speak, look and behave, in a way that matches the setting you are entering to. That is a key aspects of making a good impression. 

Adjust your attitude

Try not to look bored, rude or hostile.

A useful attitude is welcoming, curious and enthusiastic: smile, make eye contact long enough to notice the color of that person’s eyes, sit without crossing your arms or legs. This project a positive, open warm impression.

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Proper business etiquette
  • Be on time.
  • Dress appropriately for an occasion.
  • Address everyone respectfully, such as by their last name.
  • Maintain eye contact, but do not ...
Smile
A confident, relaxed smile is the best way to put other people at ease. 

Smiling is an important social cue, and that other people will respond to smiles on both a conscious and subliminal level.

Good Manners basics
  • Language. “Please,” “Thank You,” and “You’re Welcome,” demonstrate to others that you value their effort, thought, and/or generosity.
  • Names. Always address others in business by their title (Mr., Mrs., or Ms.) and their last name, unless they request you use a given name or nickname.
  • Attire and Dress. The way a person dresses can demonstrate their respect for whoever they are meeting.
  • Eye Contact. Most people believe that those who do not make eye contact are lying or avoiding something, or that they lack the confidence to interact effectively with other people.
  • Speaking. A clear, well-modulated speaking voice is an important social tool, and contributes to the ease of communication and a good first impression.
  • Handshake. While the handshake should be firm, too much pressure shows a desire to dominate and can be a negative signal.

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