TODAY

TODAY   |  August 19, 2013

5 tips for perfecting your first impression

Mark Jeffries, author of “The Art of Business Seduction,” and Faye de Muyshondt who wrote the book “socialsklz :)” say to make the best first impression, you should be on time, make eye contact when introduced and put your smartphones away.

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

>>> are you that person who is always running late or do you avoid making eye contact when meeting someone for the first time? well, a first impression can make all the difference. how do you make sure that you're giving off a good one? mark jeffreys is a keynote speaker and the author of the art of business seduction and she is the author of social skills for success. good morning to you both. thank you for being here.

>> thanks for having us.

>> how long does it take to make a good first impression? what do you need to put into it.

>> research says 5 to 7 seconds to make a first impression. of course there's the old cliche that you only have one chance to make a first impression which is why i spent a chapter in my book talking about how to make a good first impression because we make thousands of them throughout our lives.

>> now, what is -- what are the keys to making a good first impression?

>> well, there's a bunch of things you can do straight away. the first thing you mentioned, eye contact but when you're shaking hands , the minute you connect make sure you make eye contact . also you have to put the devices away. i love my smartphone but put it away. if you're distracted you're only half.

>> other things besides not looking down and at your phone.

>> if you're wanting to make a strong first impression it's about the follow up afterwards. if she shared a secret with you or told you their dog isn't feeling well. after that, maybe how's your dog?

>> also the basics. in school and american education we never teach children how to make a good first impression and a big part of it is your handshake. how often have you met someone where they give you that handshake? women get really offended. how about a man giving you a half handshake? it's pretty offensive. most kids aren't taught how to properly shake hands . this is the web of your hand. it should touch the web of the other person's hand. it should be a firm grip and you should shake throughout the time it takes for each of you to introduce each other.

>> if you make a bad impression, can you redeem yourself?

>> well, i believe you can but you're in big trouble because it takes five separate engagements after the first screw up, if i may say, to correct that mistake.

>> oh my gosh.

>> you get one chance to make a good first impression and then you have to work five times to get it back again.

>> i also read it takes three hours of conversation to go back and redeem yourself after.

>> all right. we do have people in the crowd who has some questions. go ahead. what's your question, sir.

>> i'm going to be meeting my girlfriend's college roommate for the first time. we have both been through a lot of changes. how do i make a good first impression.

>> he is going to be meeting his girlfriend's college roommate.

>> college roommate. from my opinion, what he has to do here is court that roommate as much as he would his actual girlfriend. show that he is a good person. show that he really cares for her friend. if he can do that, that will create a good first impression.

>> mel, you talk about this in one of your songs.

>> yes.

>> you got to get with my friends.

>> not literally.

>> yeah.

>> on their good side.

>> no but also just being -- just being forward and introducing yourself. not waiting and standing back to make a first impression. going out and introducing yourself and being confident is a great way to make a good first impression.

>> we have another question from the crowd. go ahead.

>> my family and i just moved to a new area. how do we make a first good impression?

>> okay. just moving into the neighborhood. how do they make a good impression?

>> the most important thing is not to be different. if you paint yourself as somebody very different people get a bit weird. they bristle. so blend in and show that you're like the people around you.

>> be friendly. a smile goes a long way and making sure that, again, kids aren't really taught these skills but create a lesson for your home of, hey, here's how to make a good first impression. it starts with with a smile. your body language.

>> bake a cake.

>> bake a cake. drop it off at the neighbors. it's so important what you say about the kids. if they don't smile or look at somebody when somebody is asking them a question, it drives me nuts.

>> and answering with more than one word responses.

>> and more than one syllable in one word. eye contact is everything.

>> all right. thank you both so much. we appreciate it.

>> thank you.