How to Make the Best Impression

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There is always room for improvement. If you are already observing the following suggestions,congratulations, you are ahead of the game. If you aren’t, this is your lucky day– you can make a favorable impression without investing a dime. Follow these simple rules in either a business or social setting and they will give you the edge, whether you are about to go for a job interview or meet the parents…

1. Lose the gum. Now. If you have no idea what why, video tape yourself.  Is this what you want your (fill in the blank: Mother-in-law, potential new boss or big deal client, possible love interest) to see? Did not think so.
2. Stand up straight. (Your mother was right).
The above two only took a couple seconds, and already you are ahead of the game! Next,
3. Pay attention to what you wear:

  • Before you put it on, iron it.  
  • Before you put it on, think, is the age appropriate?  You know the answer.
  • Women: Before you put it on, ask, is your purse going to look bigger than you are? Is it appropriate for the time of day/occassion?
  • Men: Don’t ever leave the house without pressing your shirt and pants. You never see James Bond in a wrinkled suit unless his car just blew up.  And even then, he’s clean in the next frame. Also, make sure your shoes are polished. (James does).
  • Women: If you are going to wear absurdly high heels, learn to walk in them with self assuredness of a catwalk model, otherwise it defeats their purpose. Nobody wants to see your bra strap showing. It’s “unkempt.” It does not matter that Carrie in Sex and the City, did it. Frankly, with each passing season, some of Carrie’s fashion choices sliding into “unkempt” territory, a dangerous place to wander once you are past a certain age. (At some point, all your “it’s okay to look unkempt” chips get automatically cashed in). A word about strapless, and or mini: if you have to constantly “tug” at it, the article of clothing is probably not flattering. Oh, and one pair earrings (on your ears, please), are more than enough. 

4. Remove the following words or phrases from your vocabulary:

  • “Dude” (It’s almost worse than chewing gum).
  •  “You guys.” While not as offensive as “Dude,” it is on the very slippery slope to sounding sophomoric. (Remember the word “You” is also plural).
  • “No Problem” The very phrase suggests the possibility that it could be have been perceived as  “a problem”. “Thank You” or “My Pleasure” are more elegant responses.

5. Practice Technological Etiquette:  
Don’t text in anyone’s company! It makes you look just like you are 12.  
Don’t wear a blue tooth device in the company of others, it makes you look like you are desperate.
Excuse yourself if you absolutely have to answer your cell phone while in the company of others; walk away as soon as possible, and speak in a low tone. (And shut the thing off at a job interview!).
6. Be attentive to the person(s) whose acquaintance you have just made:

  • You will always make a favorable impression on someone if you draw them out, ask questions and listen.
  • Don’t be afraid to toss out a sincere compliment. It can disarm your subject in a positive manner.  But don’t get smarmy, or you’ll tread into Eddy Haskell territory.
  • Don’t call anyone by their first name unless you have been introduced as such or been invited to do so. (Absolutely observe this rule in the case of your future Mother-in-law, potential new boss, potential big deal client).  You can of course, flirt with your possible love interest by first name unless you have a serious fixation on Jane Austen.

7. Now, flash that winning smile… 

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