wikiHow to Make a Good Impression

Three Parts:Suiting the OccasionPresenting Yourself WellActing Your Best

Whether it's for a promising job interview, first date, or chance meeting, making a good impression bodes well for just about every situation. A good impression can mean a huge difference in the way you're perceived in the long run. Because the reasons people might think of you one way or another is so broad, it's important to consider the situation you'll be meeting them in. Don't be afraid to put your best foot forward no matter where you are, and keep yourself self-aware. Something that works for one person might not always work for another, but there are many things you can do to maximize the likelihood you'll be received warmly.

Part 1
Suiting the Occasion

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    Reflect on people that made an impression on you. Following the example of others works in many cases when it comes to self-improvement. There are no doubt at least a few people you've crossed paths with that left a heft impression on you, whether through their talents, charms or unique qualities.[1] Think about what made these people so likeable and memorable. Do you see any of their traits in yourself? Whether you do or don't, these examples are a good model to start with.
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    Consider what you bring to the table. Everyone is different, and everyone has something unique to offer. If you can pinpoint what makes you special, highlighting those best traits of yourself in your behaviour will make you stand out in peoples' minds. Are you funny, smart, charming, fashionable? Knowing where you stand realistically and knowing how to emphasize those best traits will make you more memorable in the eyes of others.
    • The most memorable people are usually only remembered for one or two things. Only closer friends will have time to see you for who you really are. If you're intent on making a big impression with someone, you should focus on emphasizing one or two of your boldest qualities.
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    See things from other peoples' perspectives. If you try to look at a situation through someone else's eyes, you'll be that much closer towards knowing exactly how to act and leave a good impression on them. This is especially helpful if you already know the person you'd like to impress. By knowing them, you'll be able to tap into their train of thought more easily.
    • Even if you don't know the person personally, any fact you know about someone can help in predicting what they'll look for in you. For instance, most prospective employers will be looking for a lot of the same things: punctuality, politeness and professionalism.[2]
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    Decide what your goal is. Why do you want to make a good impression? Asking for a specific reason why may seem like an unnecessary question, but taking the time to consider the reasons why will help you decide how you'd like to be memorable. If you want to make a good impression on someone you're not planning on having a close friendship with, you can rely purely on surface charm. A more enduring connection (like a new romantic partner) may be worth letting see your true colours.
    • There's nothing wrong with putting on a mask for other people, just as there's nothing wrong with truly being yourself. It all depends on the intent you have in mind.

Part 2
Presenting Yourself Well

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    Dress to suit your environment.[3] As you might imagine, there's no single outfit that will leave a great impression on everyone. A nice dress may seem perfect for an evening gala, but it wouldn't be received nearly as well on a subway or at a doom metal concert. If you know the sort of environment you're expected to be in, you should have at least a vague idea of what you'll be expected to wear. Dress to impress.[4]
    • If you don't know what kind of clothing or formality you should be going for, it's always best to air on the side of caution and take the dressier route. People may look at you funny for dressing up to a casual event, but it's not nearly as bad as the looks you'll get for going casual to a formal event. What's more; if your clothing stands out enough, you'll risk taking a hit to your self-confidence in the situation.
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    Be well rested. Getting enough sleep should be a given, but you may be surprised how many people try to forego this essential step. If you're running on less than 6 hours of sleep, you cannot hope to be at your best.[5] A lack of sleep will result in mental cloudiness and irritability.
    • If you need to make a good impression, refrain from any afternoon or evening caffeine the night before. Doing so will make it harder to fall asleep, and make it nearly impossible if you're worried about your performance the next day.
    • Melatonin is a great natural supplement that helps ease you into sleep. Take it 20 minutes before you would like to fall asleep.[6]
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    Give yourself a makeover. Everyone can do with a good makeover. When it comes to leaving a good impression, changing up your look forces people to reconsider your appearance. This is great if you're trying to get a second chance at making an impression. It doesn't have to be too drastic to get people looking your way in a new light. Women might try applying a different technique of makeup, or a new hairstyle. Men could try changing up their outfit, or trying a different style of facial hair.
    • It should be noted that those who give themselves makeovers tend to enjoy boosted self-confidence. After all, walking around with a bold new look proves to yourself that you're daring, and more than worth someone's attention.
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    Exercise regularly. On top of improving the look and function of your body, moderate to rigorous exercise encourages endorphins in your brain, which in turn improves mood and reduces mental fogginess. All of these things play a big role in making a good impression on people.[7] If you want to maximize the impression you'll make later on in the day, wake up with a glass of fresh water and go for a long run. It will increase your potential throughout the rest of your day.

Part 3
Acting Your Best

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    Be punctual.[8] Whether you're meeting someone for business or pleasure, there's no quicker way to ruin someone's impression of you than to be late. Instead, you should try to get wherever you need to be a few minutes early. Not only will this prove to the other person that you're a go-getter, you'll also alleviate stress on yourself. This will ensure you're as clear-headed as can be for the interactions ahead.
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    Use assertive body language. Using positive, confident body language can demonstrate to everyone around you that you have confidence in yourself and your abilities without ever needing to open your mouth. Demonstrating assertive body language has a bonus effect of actually making you feel more confident as a result, even if you're only faking it at first. Try practicing in the mirror if it doesn't already come naturally to you. It may be tricky at first, but it does come with time.
    • Eye contact is a powerful technique in body language, and for good reason. Making eye contact shows confidence.[9]
    • A firm handshake is crucial, particularly in business settings.[10]
    • As always, solid posture will show everyone that you respect yourself.
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    Be a good listener.[11] Considering you're the one who's wanting to make the big impression, it may seem counter-intuitive to quiet down and let the other person take the reins for a while. All the same, people tend to be more impressed by someone who demonstrates a sincere, vivid interest in themselves and what they do.[12] Demonstrate effective listening skills: reiterate what the other person is saying to you, ask questions, and don't interrupt until there's a natural break in the conversation.
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    Speak well.[13] The art of oration isn't one that can be learned overnight. All the same, knowing how to speak well and confidently can sometimes leave an impression all on its own. No matter whether you're on a date or at a board meeting, speak in such a way where none of your words are rushed. Speak with slightly greater volume than you'd normally be comfortable with. Breaking out of your comfort zone in ways like this will set you apart from the crowd no matter where you are.
    • Don't forget to use the person's name whenever it feels natural. People love hearing someone say their name, and the same can be advised if you're trying to make them remember you.


  • It cannot be overstated that a very important part of making a good impression is knowing how to suit your surroundings.
  • If all else fails, you can always try to make a second impression on someone. It requires a considerable change in the way you present yourself, but it is possible.[14]


  • Don't try too hard to give a good impression. In the end, you ultimately want to have people remember you for who you are, which can't happen if you're worrying so much about appearances. Just relax, and let the best version of you float to the surface.

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Categories: Personal Care and Style