Depending on what research you are reading at the time it is estimated between 60 – 90% of our communication is non-verbal.
Science has indicated that 90% of our overall impression of someone is formed in the first 90 seconds of meeting them. If the person does something later on to completely contradict that impression our sub conscious will still have that first feeling about them; good or bad, so creating a great first impression is vital.
So how do you go about it?
People can gauge a lot about you just from the way you carry yourself; you can often get a good/bad feeling about someone from 20ft away. So even if you think you aren’t being observed carry yourself in a way that you would like others to perceive you.
Sit and walk upright, walk purposefully with your shoulders back and head sitting level.
The first contact with someone is usually with your eyes so make sure you hold their gaze without staring (that’s creepy!) while you are both talking. It is OK and natural to look away occasionally but eye contact is one of the main ways to connect with the person you are with. You can tell a lot by the way someone looks at you, it has been said that the eyes are the windows to your soul.
The second is usually a handshake do a firm confident handshake, too gentle and you can come across as weak and timid, too strong and you appear over dominant and aggressive.
Nod, during your conversation this shows you are being attentive and understand what the other person is saying.
Lean in when they speak to show what they are saying is important to you.
Smile occasionally this helps the person feel more relaxed, even the most serious of conversations have light and shade so smile when appropriate to do so, it will lighten your mood too.
Even if it doesn’t feel natural at first, as with a lot of things, just fake it till you make it.