How to make a solid first impression

Look at the image below. Can you spot which of the 6 faces has a happy look?




Off course, you can. Even without words, our facial and body gestures can communicate a lot to the person in front of us.


You must have also heard of the saying, “First impression is the last impression.”


What does this mean?


When we meet people, the first thing that they notice about us is our body language. Our body language consists of facial expressions, body gestures, eye movement and our use of space.


Most people will decide how they feel about you in the first few seconds of seeing you, or hearing you if you are talking on the phone. And if within these first two seconds they like you, then they unconsciously tend to see the best in you and look for opportunities to say yes. If they do not like you, then even if you have the best ideas, these people may have the tendency to say no to you.


So here are 5 steps maintain a positive body language and get people to like you. If they like you, they will listen to you and even want to say yes to you.

  1. Understand and identify your body language patterns when you are angry, nervous, or happy. So that you are aware of your gestures and avoid those that are not required.
  2. When people see you for the first time they will first notice your face. Does your face radiate positivity or is it gloomy? Most importantly you will get noticed if you smile, so smile when you meet people.
  3. Personal grooming is important. Try to dress well, even if it is a simple shirt and pant or a salwar kameez. It should look clean, neat and smart. Groom your hair; if it is unkempt it may create a bad impression on people.
  4. Your posture is very important. Stand tall or sit up straight, to show that you are confident in what you are saying. When people are talking to you, nod at times, to convey that you are listening, but do not overdo it. Give people enough space when you are communicating with, do not get too close or stand too far from them.
  5. Have eye contact (2-4 seconds at a time) as it shows people that you are interested in what they are saying. But do not stare. If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening.


Creating a solid first impression is critical for leaders and an important part of engaging with organizational or community members. The video below discusses the steps in creating a good first impression as we only get one chance to create a first impression.