Making a first impression is something we always over-think. Pretty much everything you need to know about coming off as the person you want to be, you learn in school. Say ‘please’ and say ‘thank you’, make eye contact when you’re speaking with people and just try your best to make the conversation welcoming.
However, that’s not good enough for a lot of people. How often to you meet someone who isn’t a walking firework but is just pleasant and you think: “They didn’t do anything spectacular, I’m not impressed”? You don’t. Simply put, you just don’t.
Coming across as “nice” is the best thing you can be because people, as much as they deny it, are naturally programmed to see the best in people. They’ll instinctively extrapolate what’s good about you (you laugh at their jokes, you have a similar enthusiasm about The Wire) and take that as their finalised impression of you.
Still not convinced? Okay, fine. Since you can’t just take my ‘be a good person’ advice for what it is, let’s figure out how we can manipulate your speaking habits so that you come across as the intelligent, rounded and try-hard person you want to be.
This awesome infographic from WriteMyEssays runs you through seven speaking habits that will results in everyone thinking: “huh, he’s/she’s a damn good human being”.
Little changes you can make like standing up straight to assert your attentiveness and only contributing if you have something valid to say can make a world of difference when conversing with someone you want to make an impression with. Again, this is all the stuff you learned in school.
Speaking is like opening the window to your personality and there’s tonnes of micro-hints you’re exuding with every sentence. The listeners brain is constantly piecing together “socially-relevant” information to form an opinion of you. So yeah, I guess you could say that your speaking habits are pretty important.