3 Ways to Make a Strong First Impression – #20070

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3 Ways to Make a Strong First Impression – #20070

Make a strong first impression

If you want to make a strong first impression, you need to look confident even if you don't feel it! This lesson will teach you three tips for looking confident, as well as give you ideas on how to practice by yourself and then in public.

If you spend time practicing and using these tips, you will make a great first impression. After a short time you will begin to FEEL confident, too.

make a strong first impressionTIP #1: SPEED

People who are nervous tend to speak too fast. Nervous people do not look confident, and their listeners may not trust them. By maintaining a relaxed speed, you will look calm, confident, and trustworthy. Plus, you will have time to think about what you want to say. In order to speak at the right speed, add pauses between your thoughts and sentences. Pauses add authority.

Do people tell you that you speak too quickly? Do people sometimes say that you don’t finish your words or sentences? Make sure you give yourself time to finish your thoughts before skipping to your next idea. If people ask you, "what?" after you speak, you may be talking too quickly.

Practice introducing yourself and adding pauses between your phrases and sentences. Do this in the mirror without talking to anyone. Add a pause between your first and last name. You should feel like you are talking slowly.

The next time you are speaking, remind yourself to breathe and take your time.

make a strong first impressionTIP #2: MOUTH

The way you move your mouth affects your pronunciation. English sounds require large mouth movements. You cannot make a strong impression on someone if your listeners cannot hear your words clearly.

Look in a mirror and talk to yourself. Do you open your mouth when you speak? Are you using your whole mouth to speak? Are you using your lips, teeth, and tongue when forming words?

Open a book or magazine and read aloud for 2 minutes. Practice opening your mouth much larger than usual as you speak. Feel yourself saying every word clearly. Do this every day until you feel that you can do it while speaking. Does your mouth feel tired? It should!

The next time you are speaking, remind yourself to open your mouth more. If your listener does not ask you to repeat yourself, you have succeeded!

make a strong first impressionTIP #3: EYES

In English-speaking countries, eye contact is important for making a strong impression. If you don’t make eye contact with someone, he might think you do know what you are talking about, you do not have self-confidence, or you are lying. It is okay to look away at times, but remember to keep coming back to the eyes of the person you are speaking to.

Do you feel comfortable looking into the eyes of the person you are talking to?

Practice introducing yourself in the mirror, and keep eye contact with yourself.

Now try it with the next person you talk to. How did it feel? If you have a hard time looking at people’s eyes, try it for just a few seconds at a time. If you get uncomfortable, shift your eyes for one second or look at one eye only.

Remember SME (SPEED / MOUTH / EYES) the next time you are trying to make a strong first impression.

More Practice
Once you have practiced this page, you may also want to try these related pages:
Look at Your Audience
Oral Presentation Skills and Voice Gestures
Hand Gestures While Presenting

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