A behavioural and body language expert based in Australia, has revealed her simple tricks for making a great first impression in just 15 seconds.
Grazina Fechner, who is also an executive coach, said there is science involved when it comes to appearing attractive to strangers and that it’s ‘easier than you think’ to seem charming and witty.
’15 to 30 seconds is all you’ve got for someone to decide if they want to listen to you or not so it’s all about tone, infliction, diction, articulation, power of pause, pace, smile and engagement,’ Grazina said during an appearance on The Morning Show
Grazina explained that you have to think about why people would want to stop to listen to you in the first place.
‘Are you inspiring their curiosity? Are you exciting them? Captivating them? Delighting them? What is it that gets them to want to keep listening to you?’ She said.
It is also vital that you engage the space with open body language, make eye contact and avoid kissing or hugging during a first meeting as that kind of contact makes many people feel uncomfortable.
‘Be mindful of personal body space, you don’t want to run up to someone and kiss them if they don’t want that but you don’t want to be so far apart that you’re shouting your “hi” either,’ Grazina said.
Many people find small talk challenging but Grazina explained that the simple secret is treating the person you’re talking to ‘like a friend’.
On top of this, she recommends filling in the time talking about the other person.
‘People love chatting about themselves so the minute you get them chatting, the small talk becomes about them, and you become way more interesting,’ she said.
If you’ve reached the moment of the conversation where you’re no longer entertained, Grazina said you simply need to ‘run away’ to get food or go to the bathroom.
Grazina added it’s important to dress in something that will make you feel confident as she explained that brains are wired to ‘start behaving in correlation to what you’re wearing’.
‘Feel good in what you’re wearing and if you feel good you will ooze in confidence,’ she said.
Sydney-based etiquette expert Anna Musson told FEMAIL that it’s best to ‘mentally prepare yourself’ before you meet someone for the first time.
‘Decide in advance to have an open stance, which means stand tall, don’t have your arms folded and have a pleasant disposition, or at least neutral facial features,’ she said.
‘If you’ve been thinking about something negative just before you meet someone that could come across if you cross your legs or frown.’
She explained that although it’s easy to turn a good impression into a bad one, it’s very difficult to turn a negative impression into a good one.
In terms of how you greet someone for the first time Ms. Musson said it depends on the situation but the first rule is to stand up if you’re sitting as it shows respect for them and yourself.
‘In business the greeting should always be a handshake, unless perhaps it’s a relaxed work drinks but judge the environment and what you’re comfortable with,’ she said.
‘If it’s a social situation you can judge whether to greet with a kiss, hug or handshake by the occasion and if everyone else is doing it.’
It can be hard to pinpoint when in a relationship the greeting can be changed to something more intimate, such as a kiss on the cheek.
‘There’s always a tipping point in a relationship where you’ll be more relaxed which will dictate this but it’s up to the woman when that is,’ Ms Musson said.
‘This is because it can seem predatory if the man decides when the hug and kiss seems comfortable.’
For those who don’t like affection she said you should make it clear from the get-go that you’re going in for a handshake.
On top of this, when greeting someone sunglasses and earphones should always be removed and phones put away.
This shows that you’re putting time, energy and value into the friendship.