TODAY

TODAY   |  April 25, 2013

How to make a good impression

In the modern etiquette world, making a good impressionis key. Body language expert Janine Driver studied a group of strangers at a happy hour to analyze their behavior and explain how our manners shape the way others perceive us.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> i'll send it over to you.

>> thank you, savannah. i still think al looks like denzel washington . meanwhile, we're wrapping up our look at modern manners with how to make the best impression possible.

>> we arranged the cocktail party at fresco here in new york. janeane driver was there to watch as our guests worked the room. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> why is it so difficult for us when we meet strangers face to face ?

>> i don't know, i think we're so self-conscious about ourselves. we're focusing on the mole on our face or the gap in our teeth. you're not supposed to sit down, go in, be friendly, you don't want to dump all -- i'm going through a divorce or i don't like my job.

>> mill about the room.

>> you're going there to meet people and have fun.

>> let's talk first impressions and the first thing you do is the handshake generally, is there a right way?

>> there is. scope out the room, i want to join in with the group that seems to be the most fun. this is the great handshake. they're facing belly button to belly button . we face our belly button to someone we like and trust.

>> so you should face --

>> feel the difference. this is giving you the cold shoulder , versus this, hi, nice to meet you.

>> what about? people do the grab pull. what is that?

>> are you a puller?

>> sometimes.

>> i would use the pull if you came in and shook my hand the way i'm shaking you right now. i'm giving you the upper hand, then i would take the other hand and give me the pull. i'm saying people give you the upper hand are trying to dominate you trying to say i'm taking charge.

>> you can even it out.

>> what about arms and hands? people can be awkward.

>> right, the big thing to do with hands is be careful of putting them in the pocket.

>> how come?

>> newborn babies, what do they do? they suck their thumbs or put their thumbs inside their fists. when we put our thumb inside our fist, this is sending the message, we need reassurance. the guys right here are hiding their thumbs sending the message, i need reassurance. i want to actually see your thumbs. think about it, even president john f. kennedy had his thumb out of his pocket saying i'm ready to take action.

>> let's talk about how to enter the conversation with people.

>> the biggest mistake we make, we come in and hijack a group.

>> hi, everybody, i'm here.

>> and you're like the irritating cheerleader that no one wants to be friends with. instead, we want to say may i join your group? you want to be friendly, sociable. smile, but not like a cheerleader irritating, but like i have a secret you want to know. this woman barged in, almost pushing this woman over here aside. we can't see. that's a big no-no. may i join your group? may i join your group?

>> okay. politely.

>> using your hand -- we'll get to this a little later. we've got more coming up. in fact, we've got