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how to make a good first impression


? Making

a Great First Impression

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It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, the other person forms an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, and how you are dressed.

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With every new encounter, you are evaluated and yet another person's impression of you is formed. These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows.

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So, whether they are in your career or social life, it's important to know how to create a good first impression.

Be on Time
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Someone you are meeting for the first time is not interested in your "good excuse" for running late. Plan to arrive a few minutes early. And allow flexibility for possible delays in traffic or taking a wrong turn. Arriving early is much better that arriving late.

Be Yourself, Be at Ease
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If you are feeling uncomfortable and on edge, this can make the other person ill at ease and that's a sure way to create the wrong impression. If you are calm and confident, so the other person will feel more at ease, and so have a solid foundation for making that first impression a good one.

Present Yourself Appropriately
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Of course physical appearance matters. The person you are meeting for the first time does not know you and your appearance is usually the first clue he or she has to go on. But it certainly does not mean you need to look like a model to create a strong and positive first impression. (Unless you are interviewing with your local model agency, of course!)

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Always be genuine and show your unique personality. Whether this includes latest fashion is up to you. You want to make a first impression about yourself, so be yourself. Just think about your cleavage or skirt length (if you're a woman), or cleanliness of the clothes. Be conscious of your accessories and what they will say about you.

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And what about your grooming? Clean and tidy appearance is appropriate for most business and social occasions. A good haircut or shave. Clean and tidy clothes. Neat and tidy make up. Make sure your grooming is appropriate and helps make you feel "the part".

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Appropriate dressing and grooming help make a good first impression and also help you feel "the part", and so feel more calm and confident. Add all of this up and you are well on your way to creating a good first impression.

A Word about Individuality
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The good news is you can usually create a good impression without total conformity or losing your individuality. Yes, to make a good first impression you do need to "fit in" to some degree. But it all goes back to being appropriate for the situation. And express your individuality appropriately within that context.

A Winning Smile!
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"Smile and the world smiles too."* So there's nothing like a smile to create a good first impression. A warm and confident smile will put both you and the other person at ease. So smiling is a winner when it comes to great first impressions. But don't go overboard with this – people who take this too far can seem insincere and smarmy, or can be seen to be "lightweights".

Be Open and Confident
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When it comes to making the first impression, body language as well as appearance speaks much louder than words. Use your body language to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance. Stand tall, smile (of course), make eye contact, greet with a firm handshake. All of this will help you project confidence and encourage both you and the other person to feel better at ease.

Small Talk Goes A Long Way.
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Conversations are based on verbal give and take. It may help you to prepare questions you have for the person you are meeting for the first time beforehand.

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Is there anything that you know of that you have in common with the person you are meeting? If so, this can be a great way to open the conversation and to keep it flowing.

Be Positive
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Your attitude shows through in everything you do. Project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately, maintaining an upbeat manner and a smile.

Be Courteous And Attentive
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It goes without saying that good manners and polite, attentive and courteous behavior help make a good first impression. In fact, anything less can ruin the one chance you have at making that first impression. So be on your best behavior!

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One modern manner worth mentioning is "turn off your mobile phone". What first impression will you create if you are already speaking to someone other than the person you are meeting for the first time? Your new acquaintance deserves 100% of your attention.

Key Points
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You have just a few seconds to make a good first impression and it's almost impossible ever to change it. So it's worth giving each new encounter your best shot.

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Much of what you need to do to make a good impression is common sense. But with a little extra thought and preparation, you can make every first impression not just good but great.

? Body

Language

Understanding non-verbal communication

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The difference between the words people speak and our understanding of what they are saying comes from non-verbal communication, otherwise known as "body language". By developing your awareness of the signs and signals of body language, you can more easily understand other people, and more effectively communicate with them.

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There are sometimes subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – movements, gestures, facial expressions and even shifts in our whole bodies that indicate something is going on. The way we talk, walk, sit and stand all say something about us, and whatever is happening on the inside can be reflected on the outside.

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By becoming more aware of this body language and understanding what it might mean, you can learn to read people more easily. This puts you in a better position to communicate effectively with them.

First impressions and confidence
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Recall a time when you met someone new at work. Or think about the last time you watched a speaker deliver a presentation.
What were your first impressions? Did you sense confidence or a lack of confidence in them? Did you want to associate with them or not? Were you convinced by them?

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Did they stride into the room, engage you and maintain eye contact or were they tentative, shuffling towards you with eyes averted, before sliding into a chair? What about their handshake – firm and strong or weak and limp?

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Moving along in the conversation, did they maintain solid eye contact or were they frequently looking away? Did their face appear relaxed or was it tight and tense? What about their hand and arm movements? Were their gestures wide, flowing and open or were they tight, jerky and closed?

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As you observe others, you can identify some common signs and signals that give away whether they are feeling confident or not. Typical things to look for in confident people include: Posture – standing tall with shoulders back. Eye contact – solid with a 'smiling' face. Gestures with hands and arms – purposeful and deliberate. Speech – slow and clear. Tone of voice – moderate to low.

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Some of the common signs that the person you are speaking with may be feeling defensive include: Hand/arm gestures are small and close to his or her body. Facial expressions are minimal. Body is physically turned away from you. Arms are crossed in front of body. Eyes maintain little contact, or are downcast.

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By picking up these signs, you can change what you say or how you say it to help the other person become more at ease, and more receptive to what you are saying.

Some of the typical signs and signals that a person is lying include:
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Eyes maintain little or no eye contact, or there may be rapid eye movements, with pupils constricted. Hand or fingers are in front of his or her mouth when speaking. His or her body is physically turned away from you, or there are unusual/un-natural body gestures.

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His or her breathing rate increases. Complexion changes such as in color; red in face or neck area. Perspiration increases. Voice changes such as change in pitch, stammering, throat clearing.

Key Points
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Body language impacts a great deal of how we communicate, and can reflect quite accurately what's going on inside us. Body language includes body movements and gestures (legs, arms, hands, head and torso), posture, muscle tension, eye contact, skin coloring (flushed red), even people's breathing rate and perspiration. Additionally, the tone of voice, the rate of speech and the pitch of the voice all add to the words that are being used.

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It is important to recognize that body language may vary between individuals, and between different cultures and nationalities. It is therefore essential to verify and confirm the signals that you are reading, by questioning the individual and getting to know the person.


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