6 Science-Backed Tips to Make a Great First Impression

August 2, 2017

Most of us become very nervous when we’re trying to make an impression on someone. Desire not to make something inappropriate or say something wrong makes our anxiety levels skyrocket. In fact, it takes a person less than a second to make a judgment about another individual. It means that these fears aren’t groundless. So, what should we do if we have less than a second to impress someone? Actually, there are some science-backed tips that we can apply to make a great impression on anyone. Learning to apply them in life will benefit you greatly. 

  1. Don’t waste time. As we have mentioned above, you have no time to hesitate. In case you want to impress a new friend, future partner or potential employer, act fast and use the strategies offered below.

  2. Have a confident handshake. If that’s something you aren’t used to, start practicing it with your colleagues and friends today. According to the research from Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, confident and firm handshake plays a crucial role in making an excellent first impression in business and social situations.

  3. Wait before you speak. According to Amy Cuddy, a renowned social psychologist,   when we meet people for the first time, we judge them based on two things – confidence and trustworthiness. It means that you need to make the other person trust you less than in a second. Amy says that in order to achieve it, you need to let the other individual speak first. It contradicts the modern views of the business world where one should get the floor first. In fact, getting the floor only shows that you want to be dominant, and in such situation your interlocutor will take you as a threatening person and can further go to defensiveness or attempt to show you that they are more dominant. You should make the person feel the warmth of your company. If you show your understanding and let them speak first, you will build a strong ground for relationships.

  4. Make use of the eye contact. According to the study made by journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, maintaining eye contact during the conversation is very important if you want the other person to trust you. While in some situations it may be incredibly difficult, you should make a conscious effort in order to overcome the embarrassment. It will make a huge difference, science says.

  5. Use the power of facial expression. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General made it very clear that facial expression influences the way you perceive attractiveness and intelligence. Nice smile can be a good investment into making a good first impression. Just make sure you aren’t making a large grin. It can make you look naïve or stupid. Subtle, friendly smile is enough.  

  6. Adjust your tone and voice. People also make judgments based on the voice of another person, Drew Randell from the University of Lethbridge in Canada says. Tone of the voice influences the perception of another’s person trustworthiness. When you approach someone for the first time, make sure your voice is filled with confidence and friendliness.
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