I have good news for you, what you say isn’t as important as your body language!
Only 7 % of first impressions come from what you say. The other 93% is made up of non-verbal communication like your body language, your confidence and your ‘energy’.
Simple Changes to Create Good First Impressions
Your First Impressions
1. Handshake or Hug
Whichever you chose make sure you are comfortable with your choice. In the Covid, post covid world not everyone is comfortable with either. If you do choose a handshake (personally I believe they are better used in business rather than dating) make sure it is a good one. A bad handshake creates a poor impression. A bad handshake is too loose or too tight.
When you first meet someone don’t forget the basics like so many people do. I have met people who don’t tell me who they are, don’t bother to look at me and who seem preoccupied with everything else.
Don’t be one of those! Stop what you are doing, acknowledge the other person with a smile while making eye contact. Take the time to listen to their name and give them yours.
It’s simple – have a real smile, stand up straight and make eye contact.
2. First Impressions – Why Does Eye Contact Matter
Eye contact is powerful, so don’t underestimate its value as it creates long-lasting bonds between people. . Keeping eye contact creates a sense of connection between two people – which is exactly what you want! It also increases empathy, understanding of each other and links peoples emotional states.
Something so simple is often overlooked when thinking about good first impressions. It is easy, yet not used often enough when you are so busy worrying about what to say next or worrying about coming across as creepy from staring too long!
How do you know how much is too much? No first interaction should be a five-minute eye gazing exercise as that would be enough to make anyone uncomfortable. The best thing to do is to mirror the amount of eye contact that the other person is giving you. If they are the type of person who makes a lot of eye contact, they will be comfortable with that. If they break eye contact, do the same and take a moment to notice them relax. Then concentrate on what they are saying to you.
Mix eye contact with a real smile and you will always stand out.
3. A Winning Smile Creates Good First Impressions
A smile is such a simple thing that is proven by research to make anyone instantly more attractive! It is one thing that you can easily do and the best thing is that it costs you nothing!
Did you know that when you smile it releases mood-enhancing hormones and decreases the stress enhancing ones! A smile has the flow-on effect of making you look good, feel good and then others see that they smile and as a result, they look and feel good too!
The only word of warning that I will give you is to be aware of the over smile or the fake smile! People don’t trust someone who smiles too much or has a fake smile – it looks like you aren’t being genuine. A fake smile is where your smile doesn’t reach your eyes and isn’t genuine. Oversmiling is a sign of trying too hard and doesn’t make good first impressions.
Ladies, men often tell me women ration their smiles and seeing a lovely smile is like sunshine – big call but maybe that’s how rare they feel it is! Why not try smiling at the strangers you come across, it is fun and you never know what might happen. I always smile on my morning walks and say hello. It feels good and I love seeing how people react! They might wonder if they know me or why I am smiling at them. But mostly they smile back and sometimes I end up having great conversations meeting new people. A smile can change someone’s day and that makes me feel good too. Best of all it doesn’t cost anything.
4. Good Impressions come from Good Posture
Take a moment to notice your posture or your body language, what is it saying? Are you showing confidence or are you showing the people around you that you feel uncomfortable? Because guess what your body language shows a lot.
How you feel about yourself is reflected in your posture and did you know that when you change your posture you can change how you feel. It is such a simple, yet powerful action to take to change your feelings.
Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Can you feel how much better that feels, you can almost feel instantly more confident.
Now do the opposite – try slumping, you know rounding your shoulders and looking self consciously at the ground. It instantly changes how you feel, you don’t feel as good, confident or even as comfortable.
Both have a flow-on effect on the people you are talking to as they will feel equally uncomfortable or comfortable depending on your body language.
Your body language shapes who you are.
It is quite simple and universal good impressions come from good posture as it conveys more than words can.