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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. 

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First impressions matter
Studies agree that you have less than 30 seconds to impress someone. Some studies even state that you have only seven seconds before someone makes a judgement. 

You’ve got a lot to pack into those seven seconds to make your impression a positive one.

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.

It indicates that you don’t care about what’s currently happening and you aren’t fully committed or engaged. 

Unless you need your phone to demonstrate something, it should not be in your hand.

Know the appropriate way to dress so you won’t be underdressed or overdressed. Your clothes should fit well and not be wrinkled. Invest in a work-appropriate bag or backpack as well. Shoes simply need to be professional. 

A good rule of thumb is no open-toed shoes, sleeveless dresses, or clothes that are baggy.

Be on time

Being late always equals a bad first impression and is one of the hardest mistakes to recover from. When in doubt, show up early. 

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RELATED IDEAS

  • 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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IDEAS

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.

The first impression

First impressions are like invisible tattoos we imagine for each and every person we meet. While it is possible to change a first impression, it is very difficult to succeed doing this.