Creating A Lasting Impression

This year at your company party, what sort of impression would you like to make: would you like to be the remembered as the guy who is smart, pleasant and charming, or the guy about whom people say, "ummm, hmm... yeah, I think I remember meeting him... maybe"? You're going to pick the former, of course, as all of us would. No one wants to be remembered as the dull guy, or not even remembered at all. So before you attend any parties this year, take a little bit of time to consider how you will appear to others.

Pay attention to your body language.
Yes, what you say is important. But your body language is even more important because people "read" it before you say a single word. Make sure to smile. Sit or stand up straight, and do not cross your arms in front of you, as this is interpreted as a defensive posture. As you are talking with people, try to make eye contact in a relaxed manner. What I mean by this is, definitely make eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking, but try not to make this person feel as if you are staring or scrutinizing. When you break eye contact, try to do it slowly, without darting your eyes. This helps people to feel comfortable during a conversation.

Dress nicely.
We all tend to stereotype. It's not something that we like to admit to, but every single one of us does it at some point whether we mean to or not. It is an old survival instinct, really, to look at a person and immediately judge whether or not he or she will be a threat to us. So, it is very important to acknowledge that people will be making a split second judgment based on your appearance whether they mean to or not. Because of this, you should take the time to make sure you look your best. Dress up your look for the holidays by wearing a dark colored velvet sport coat. Or if you usually wear contact lenses, wear a fashionable pair of glasses instead. Experiment with different tie knots so that you can wear one that differs from your normal work wear. Even just a small change in your appearance can make an interesting focal point.

Don't over-think things.
Okay, I know this one is a little bit easier said than done. But try not to over-think what you will say and how you will behave. If you are wrapped up in your own thoughts inside your head, you are likely to not appear relaxed. So take a deep breath and smile, and try to just relax.

Imagine that you are meeting a friend.
When meeting a new person for the first time, try to imagine that you are talking with a friend. This will automatically make you feel more relaxed, and you will find that conversation comes more easily to you. When talking with a person for the first time, you may feel like you are struggling to think of appropriate topics. But with a friend, you would ask him about what he did last Saturday, what he bought his girlfriend for Christmas, and all sorts of other natural, friendly topics.

Overall, what creates the most lasting impression is an individual who looks sharp and takes a genuine interest in what others have to say. So make sure that you listen as much as you talk, and dress your best to make a good impression.

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