Let’s face it… we all want to succeed in business and in life. And making a positive impression is one of those make or break moments in a relationship that can affect whether or not you’re going to get the outcome you’re looking for. So how do you nail that first impression every time?

1. Palm Power

When used correctly, palm power invests its user with a degree of authority and silent command. Palm-Up is a non-threatening gesture that’s been used since caveman times to show that the person is not holding any weapons. If you make a presentation and continually use the Palm-Down position, you’re more likely to suffer rejection from your audience. The pointed finger is a symbolic club with which the speaker figuratively beats the listener into submission. If you are a habitual finger pointer, practice the palm-up and palm-down and you’ll find that a combination of these positions can create a more relaxed atmosphere and you’ll have a more positive effect on your audience.

2. The Handshake

Shaking hands is another relic from caveman days that has been modified over centuries. Similarly to the use of palm power, your handshake tells the other person: Dominance: ‘This person is trying to dominate me. I’d better be cautious.’ Submission: ‘I can dominate this person. He/she will do what I want.’ Equality: ‘I like the person. We’ll get on well together.’ For more on the art of a good handshake, read What’s in a Handshake?

3. Left Hand Holding

This strategy may seem obvious at first but few people pay it much attention. Practice holding folders, papers, brief cases and drinks in you left hand. We typically greet each other, open doors, move a chair or wave goodbye with our right hand. So if your right hand is free of objects you’ll avoid looking clumsy.

4. Smile Power

Smiling is an appeasement gesture to show others that you are non-threatening. Our research shows the more frequently you smile, the closer others will stand to you, the more eye contact they will give you, the more likely they will be to touch you and the longer they want to stay with you. In other words, smiling is great for your business and personal life! (…and don’t be afraid to practice your smile in front of the mirror!)

5. Territorial Respect

We each carry a bubble of space around our body known as Personal Space. Its width depends on population density and what culture the person is from. If you are standing close to someone and you notice them move back, they’re telling you this is the amount of space they need for comfort. Keep your distance and resist moving forward.

6. Dress For Success

The secret to appropriate business dress is to ask yourself how your prospect expects you to be dressed. For you to appear credible, approachable, likeable, authoritative, knowledgeable and successful, how would you be dressed in their opinion? You never get a second chance to make a first impression. But if you practice these techniques you will become more successful at making a positive first impression every time. Would you like to learn more about winning in business? Order your copy of Questions are the Answers Copyright © Allan Pease. All rights reserved. Published by agreement with Pease International Pty Ltd.