Key points: It’s important to make a good first impression – especially when you’re job-hunting or networking. How you act around people can influence what they think of you.

Try smiling naturally, lowering your voice, making eye contact, and standing up straight. You can also try leaning towards someone when they are talking to you – this shows that you are interested in what they are saying.

Whether you’re trying to find a job, going for interviews, or just networking in general, body language is important when it comes to making a good first impression.

Keep these tips in mind when you’re interacting with someone:

  • Smile slowly

    Don’t fake it. Real smiles happen gradually, but remember not to do it too slowly, either, because it can also look creepy. Practice a natural smile in the mirror.

  • Lower your voice

    When you’re nervous or excited, your voice may come out in a higher pitch. The trick is to take a slow but deep breath, and to lower your pitch. A deeper voice is considered to have more authority and confidence.

  • Make eye contact

    Eye contact shows that you are interested in the conversation and that you are a good listener. When you keep eye contact with the person you are talking to, it shows that you are focused and paying attention. It also means that you are actually listening to what the person is saying. Eye contact is also a good way of building a connection with another person. It tells the other person, “I am confident and self-assured; you can trust me.”

  • Have a good posture

    Don’t slouch. Sit or stand up straight. Slouching can make you look less professional and can possibly make you look less confident and enthusiastic.

  • Lean in

    Move your body slightly forward toward the person you’re talking to – this reflects interest. But remember not to overdo it – you might come across as creepy and disrespectful of the other person’s personal space.

  • Mirror the other person’s movements

    People often subconsciously mirror those whom they get along with. Try mimicking the person – like smiling when the other person is smiling, or gesturing with your hands if you see the other person doing it. The trick is to act naturally.

Remember, if you’re not relaxed, these attempts at better body language may be for nothing. Practise these tips when you’re out with your friends and see if they work. The more you practise, the better you will become at it.

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