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How to Make an Unforgettable First Impression

How long does it take to form an opinion on people when you first meet them? Scientists have discovered that it only takes four seconds. One look is enough for the potential interlocutor to understand which category of people you belong: «Wow!» , «so so», «star», «boring»... This technique works for both personal and working acquaintances, it can help you to make people trust you during small talks or public speaking. Therefore, a lot depends on what first impression you make.

Body Language And Other Tricks: How to Prove Yourself Since The First Meeting

Most people are incapable of decoding non-verbal signs, i.e. it is unlikely that your interlocutor will be able to say what the position with crossed hands means. Such messages are perceived subconsciously. Even if a person does not know that crossed hands are a closed posture and avoidance of communication, discomfort during everyday conversation or business presentation is inevitable. So to make an indelible first impression, you have to:

- learn to decode non-verbal signs;

- learn to use body language.

And there are some basic rules to focus on.

Body Language

The body position is of great importance when you meet and talk. There are two life-hacks you should use to make a good impression while talking to a new acquaintance or showing a presentation to colleagues:

- open pose;

- a tilt toward the other person.

Open posture is the position of the body that is conducive to communication. The definition is vague, but most scholars and curators of personal and career progression agree that it is about hands and shoulders.

The arms should lie on the thighs half-bent or stretched. A position with crossed hands, interlaced fingers, or brushes should be avoided. It is also not advisable to put your hands behind your back or to hide them in your pockets. These are all signs of uncertainty and avoiding contact.

Shoulders are also important because they show how confident you are. If they’re unwrapped and quietly omitted, you broadcast openness and confidence to the audience during the public speaking. If, however, your shoulders are raised or tilted forward, this closed posture indicates a reluctance to make contact and obvious self-doubt.

Tilting towards the other person is a non-verbal sign in an open position. In fact, it means "interest". The inclination should not be too obvious, nor should it be supported by the position of the legs and arms. The body should be turned towards the interlocutor. Your feet should also be pointed towards your conversationalist. But with this gesture, it is not necessary to overdo it so as not to seem annoying, so the distance of about one meter is quite comfortable for communication.


Have you ever noticed that waiters, flight attendants, salesmen, and other people who work in the service industry are constantly smiling at customers? It is one of the non-verbal signs that allow you to favor your interlocutor. However, a smile should look sincere, without unnecessary pretense.

Not only the lips but above all the eyes must smile. Facial moves is no less important than stretching the mouth with a smile. The eyebrows are slightly raised and wrinkles are collected around the eyes. The face looks friendly, which is endearing.

Eye Contact

Eye contact helps to build communication and show your interest. But you have to look at another person not too long because a long look can be interpreted as aggression. In order to make eye contact, it is not necessary to catch every eye of the interlocutor. Such excessive attention looks like a groveling. But you can’t always look around. Those tips can be useful not only for personal meetings but also for some business presentations. So how do you find the middle ground?

- every 3-5 seconds, take a look at your interlocutor;

- if you’ve looked away too long, catch the next look in your eyes;

- look at the face of the conversationalist.


Repeating the posture and last words of the interlocutor is one of the most effective ways to make contact. However, this method is not used frequently. Mirroring a person to make it look natural and friendly is difficult. There are several main objectives:

- Repeat positions. For example, tilt your head like a conversationalist or fold your legs.

- Gesticulate.

- Repeating words as if by picking up and developing the idea of the interlocutor.

The difficulty is that you have to analyze your interlocutor or the audience during the presentation in the course of the conversation. But mirroring should not be too obvious. Don’t change the position of your hands at the same time as you do your counterpart. And gesture repetition can be perceived as imitation, so this kind of mirroring can only be used in part.

But with a certain skill, mirroring helps a lot to trust a person easily. In fact, it’s the word "you and I are on the same page". It makes it easier to make a good impression and make acquaintances.

Without experience, it is difficult to make an unforgettable first impression. But if you pay attention to the above-mentioned points, you can achieve excellent results that will help you both in your career and in your personal life.

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Ekaterina Kardakova

Hello everyone! My name is Ekaterina Kardakova. I am an opera singer, vocal and presentation coach. Learn more about me and my work.

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