15 body language tricks to make a great first impression

A lot of communication is nonverbal.

So if you want to impress someone, it’s not enough that you’re eloquent. You have to make sure you’re giving off good vibes, too.

How?

By applying these body language tricks.

You’ll be amazed by how easily you’ll make friends just by doing a few of them.

1) Use your hands to show confidence

When you’re in social situations, where your hand goes matters a lot.

If you put your hands in your pockets, it signals that you’re a bit reserved—even a little anxious and self-conscious.

But if you use your hands freely— you make gestures when explaining something, or you wave at someone to get their attention— it shows confidence.

It shows that you’re not afraid to take up space.

If you want to be seen as someone self-assured, then try to not be “shy” with your hands. Let them be seen and use them freely.

2) Communicate with your whole body

Don’t just smile with your lips. Smile with your eyes, shoulders, arms, and if possible, even your feet!

Sometimes, we are too focused on our facial expressions that we forget that we’re being seen as a whole by the people we’re talking to.

If you seem engaged in the conversation and yet, you keep tapping your feet or scratching your thighs, they won’t think you’re truly engaged.

If you laugh and say “That’s funny” but your arms are crossed and you stand too erect, people would wonder if you’re being sarcastic…or if you’re a psychopath.

You don’t have to use all your body parts all the time—that’s just impossible to do. But on the occasion where you need to emphasize a reaction, go ahead and let your whole body do the talking.

2) Emphasize that you’re listening

When someone is talking, nod or tilt your head to show you’re listening. Even say “uh-huh” once in a while to encourage them to keep going.

You might not like it at first because it seems unnatural to you, but trust me, people will appreciate this kind gesture.

It’s like you telling them loud and clear “Yes, go on. I’m here. I’m listening, and I want to know more.”

It’s one good way to leave a great first impression because people usually pay attention to the ones who make them feel heard and seen.

3) Match your stance to the person you’re talking to

While mirroring indicates people getting in sync and getting closer, it should be from the subconscious. Deliberately doing it will just make you creepy.

What you can do, instead, is to match the stance of the people you’re talking to.

If their body is facing directly to you, do the same thing. Moving a few angles to the left or right would seem like you’re disinterested.

And if they lean a bit closer, don’t hesitate to do the same if you want to. If they’re a little laid back, then you can go ahead and be more laid back.

Try to be in sync with people physically and you’ll have a higher chance to leave a good impression.

4) Don’t show your impatience

No sighing, no looking at the ceiling, no checking your watch, no tapping of fingers and feet. Not even if you’re bored.

This will automatically make others think you’re an impatient person, and trust me, you’d rather not be seen this way, especially by someone you truly want to impress—like your boss or mother-in-law.

And the thing is that some of them might even take your impatient gestures personally!

Just one or two of them can signal to them that you find them boring—and you don’t want that, of course (not even if they’re truly boring).

So show patience or at the very least, don’t make your impatience too obvious.

5) Check your phone as discreetly as possible

We love our phones. But if you want to impress people, the phone should go—in your bag, at least.

You don’t want to check even the most important emails and messages while your new client is talking. It’s just not polite. So don’t do it.

If you really have to, then excuse yourself and do it in the toilet.

To make a good impression, you have to give your undivided attention. And you can’t do this if your phone’s notification keeps buzzing.

6) Use the power of touch (appropriately, of course)

Touch is probably one of the most powerful ways to leave a great impression. It can turn any good interaction into a great one.

But it can also leave the worst kind of impression if done inappropriately.

How do you do this? How do you know what’s appropriate?

Well, if someone is in distress—say, they’re crying or they’re nervous—then lightly pat them on the back.

See how they respond. If they freeze, then pull away. If they don’t, linger a few seconds more.

Other “safe” touches are high fives, fist bumps, handshakes, and nudges. Try them on some people. But do it only if it feels right and natural to both of you.

7) Be mindful of your posture

Do you notice that some people are just plain-looking, but they seem 100x more appealing because of the way they carry themselves?

Good shoes, make-up, expensive perfume…all of these mean nothing if you don’t know how to maintain good posture.

So how?

If you’re thinking long-term, you can do some yoga and exercises to improve your posture. But for now, you can simply do the basics—sit straight and stand tall. That’s all you need to be mindful of, really.

8) Gaze at eye-level

Don’t keep looking down. You won’t make connections if you just keep staring at your feet.

You see, if you’re in a room full of strangers, the way to connect is through eye contact.

So make it easier for others to connect with you by looking around the room at eye level. How can they catch your attention if you just keep looking down?

9) Cover your mouth when necessary

If you want to be seen as someone who cares about others, then this is the body language that says just that.

There are many instances where your mouth SHOULD be covered—like when you’re coughing, sneezing, yawning, or burping.

These are all normal things normal humans do but when out in public, it’s better to show you have manners by covering your mouth.

It’s not all about being “classy” and “sophisticated”, it’s also about showing that you do care about others.

10) Stay put

Don’t move too much.

In general, it’s better to not move too much than to move a lot.

Moving a lot—like standing up several times or fixing the table or moving from table to table during a party—is not only annoying for others, but it also prevents you from having more engaging conversations.

Maybe you can’t help it because you’re fidgety or you’re naturally cheerful and lively, but it doesn’t leave a good impression.

Yes, you may interact with a lot of people if you keep moving from one table to another, but you’ll not be able to form deeper connections.

So limit your movements. Try to stay put so you can actually talk with people.

11) Maintain eye contact even when you’re doing something

It’s almost impossible not to do anything else while someone’s talking, especially if you’ve been together for an hour or two already.

You need to call the waiter for the menu or water, someone you know waves at you, and your phone rings.

So how can you still leave a good impression?

You multitask but maintain eye contact, and then say “Go ahead, I’m listening.”

This gives them the feeling that you respect them and what they have to say…and that you’re dealing with distractions but still prioritizing them.

12) Make a gesture when you’re about to leave

When the conversation is about to die down, do something that signals you have to go.

You can simply check your watch and say “Whoops, it’s time for me to leave. It was a pleasure!”

Or you can extend your hand to do a handshake or fist bump then quickly say “Hey, gotta go. But we should talk again soon, okay?”

Making use of body language can make your goodbyes warmer.

Even if you had a couple of dead air during your convo, if you end it well, you’ll still leave a great first impression.

Final thoughts

Making a great first impression becomes easy once you’ve mastered the art of body language.

You just have to practice it often, and before you know it—you’ve become the kind of person everyone likes to see again.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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