Body Language 101: Making Great First Impressions that Last

Body Language 101: Making Great First Impressions that Last


Everyone must master the subtle art of improving our body language to promote a better image in our society. Body language speaks volumes about how a person is feeling, their outlook on life, and how they conduct their business. A concept directly related to body language is making a first impression. First impressions are extremely important; those who leave good impressions will be more likely to achieve success than those who do not.

There are many skills that will improve our body language. When combining proper body language with using proper English and dressing for success, there is no doubt that African Americans can compete, and win in any situation.  We simply need to master the skills that so many high achievers use to guarantee their success. The following skills are keys to improving our body language.

Demonstrate Good Posture

We should stand up straight and hold our head high. When sitting, we should lean slightly forward and be sure to be upright without slouching. These actions show confidence. They present a positive outlook and give off a good first impression.

Maintain Proper Eye Contact

Those who make good eye contact are perceived as trustworthy. We should learn how to look others directly in the eye when speaking. This is especially important when we are trying to make a favorable impression.

Give a Firm Handshake

A firm handshake shows confidence. It also shows strength and eagerness. Those who give firm handshakes are taken seriously and they are well respected.

Use Proper Hand Gestures

Hand gestures suggest excitement and energy. When speaking, use proper hand gestures to make points clear and emphasize ideas. Be careful not to constantly move the hands because it portrays nervousness. Use hand movements that come naturally; do not force them.

Add Appropriate Responses

When engaged in conversations, use appropriate responses that include both verbal and non-verbal reactions. Such reactions include appropriate facial expressions, short pauses before speaking, and verbal responses to show that you are listening. Proper responses lead to more meaningful conversations.

Don’t Forget to Smile

A smile works regardless of the situation at hand. It disarms people and gives the most positive response. Those who smile often are more likely to demonstrate their positive outlook. People tend to respond favorably to people who smile.

Each of these concepts will allow us to give off the correct body language and make better impressions. Everyone should put these things into practice immediately. They could be the difference between opening doors to new opportunities or closing doors to lost opportunities.


Gary A. McAbee created the Motivation for the World blog to have a powerful voice and positive impact in society. The articles posted are relevant to all people who hope to improve their lives and unlock their unlimited potential. Along with his other blog, Wake Up/Rise Up, Gary is able to get people talking about issues that affect us all. He is the proud author of three self-help books: Wake Up! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now!, the follow-up Rise Up! 42 Additional Ways to Improve Black America Now! , and Defining Success: One Word at a Time.


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