The Art of Communication: Making a Good First Impression

Jul 28, 2017 by

The Art of Communication: Making a Good First Impression

Almost as important to communication as words is the language of the body. The way we present ourselves says so much, from the clothing we wear to the way we stand. First impressions, in particular those which are made in person, are very important, and it’s quite likely you’re going to be seen before you’re heard.

How does one make a good impression? And what might get in the way of that? Let’s take a look.

Dress to Impress

For the record, this doesn’t mean you have to throw on business attire before heading to your next meeting or social event. It does mean, however, you should dress for your audience, or at least in a way which works with your goal. Are you off to a school board meeting? Khaki pants and a nice shirt should work. But, hey, maybe jeans and a t-shirt could work, too. You have to know your environment.

I would say, though, shorts probably aren’t good for any sort of important meetings, save for those on the beach or outside on a hot summer day. Again, though, this isn’t a hard and fast role. A big part of communication is learning how to adjust to your audience and how to work to control their expectations of you.

Stand Up Straight

One thing I see far too often is poor posture. When I see somebody walk into an office slouched over and looking somewhat miserable, I immediately get a poor impression of them. What is so wrong with this person’s situation they can’t stand up straight? Are they in pain? Are they unhappy? Too many negative thoughts start flying around, and that is not at all a good thing.

Fortunately, barring any sort of medical issues, this is something which can be fixed without too much hassle. The first step is to find the cause of the poor posture. Is it a bad chair? Do you look at your phone too often? Are you simply too tired? Once that is resolved, make some changes. Certain issues can be fixed with a little external help, something like a posture-correcting wrap like those found here.

Speak Clearly

Once it is finally time to open your mouth, take care of the words which exit. This site is dedicated to words and the ways in which they are used to communicate, so take that knowledge and use it to impress. Speak clearly, enunciating each syllable of each word in order to make sure you are understood. This is often easier said than done, especially if you’re in a situation which makes you nervous.

The key here is, honestly, practice. I often suffer from anxious feelings when I need to speak to someone new, but this has dissipated over the years as I’ve been forced to face that fear. I now find myself speaking well and clearly in every conversation, even with people with whom I have never spoken. Communication is a skill, and it doesn’t take a whole lot to master it.

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