Whether it’s new friends, someone we want to date, or perhaps a current or potentially new employer, it seems like we are always trying to impress someone! There are actually a few simple & subtle things that you can do that will help impress anyone, anywhere, anytime:

1- Respect their space
Everyone has their own “bubble”, where we only like it if certain people come in it. Usually, that’s reserved for people that are close to us. There is nothing that can be more obnoxious to people than to invade their personal space. Watch where you are standing, and make sure to give the person you want to impress ample room to feel comfortable in their little “bubble :) Come to think of it, I wish more salespeople knew about this…don’t you find it annoying when you walk into a store and the sales clerk is right in your face? You see how an invasion of space can turn people right off, remember that!

2- Pay attention
One of the best silent compliments you can ever make to someone is to pay attention to what they are saying. I don’t mean just listening, but actually engaging with what is talked about and becoming a part of the situation. Standing there silently doesn’t mean you are paying attention. You may be listening, but you aren’t registering and engaging, which is important to impress someone. People want to know you care. Show them that you do, and you have won major points.

3- Be polite
Everyone has their own unique level of acceptance when it comes to foul language, jokes, and sayings. Cover all your bases and just be very polite. Sometimes, all it takes is one comment and the deal is broken! So make sure that you speak properly, no obscenities or use of swear words. Make sure your jokes are completely clean and won’t offend anyone. Remember the old Chinese saying Politeness wins the confidence of princes.

4- Talk slowly
Speaking at an accelerated rate is not only confusing to whomever is listening, but it is a sign of being nervous and/or a sign that you want to get something past them. When a salesman calls you, are you more likely to listen to him if he speaks slowly and in control, or if he speaks very quickly? I bet you’d be more likely to buy from the slow talker. Slow and controlled talking gives the impression that you are giving thought to what you are saying. Plus it gives them the chance to talk back and be a part of the conversation, which is what you want if you want to impress them. Stay away from any monologues!

5- Eye contact
This is a tricky one. For one, eye contact is good, and needed. However, you don’t want to go overboard. Too much eye contact can make some people uncomfortable and that can be a huge deal breaker. The key is to find a happy medium and look at them in the eyes when you are saying a particular point that you want them to remember and pay attention to. You also do not want to look like you are avoiding eye contact with them. So make sure that you do have some eye contact. A good trick is to look away while you move your hands or arms or shift your body position. It makes it look less awkward and takes the focus away from the eyes ;)

6- Don’t reveal too much
Leaving people wanting more is a great way to impress anyone. You don’t want to reveal all your cards in one big swoop! Too much transparency can be seen as a little desperate and no one is impressed by desperation. What you want is for that person to know that there is much more to you than what you have showed them so far. Mystery is appealing, so use that to your advantage. Don’t talk about things that are too personal too soon, or talk about issues or problems you may have had in the past in great details. Knowing that there is much more to discover is impressive.

7- Smile
Just like eye contact, this is wonderful in moderation. You don’t want to have a silly grin on your face the whole time, nor do you want to seem like you’d rather be anywhere else! Again, it’s the happy medium rule. Smile when they say something funny (without overdoing it), and speak with a half smile. Smiling is actually very powerful. You can change someone’s whole behavior towards you simply by flashing a quick innocent smile. Did you know that they train telephone sales rep to speak with a smile on their face? Because even without seeing their face, you can still feel the smile in their voice. And it makes a huge difference in sales. That’s how powerful smiling really is!

8- Don’t try too hard
Last point is to just relax, chill out, and don’t over analyze everything. If you do what feels right, you will probably incorporate all of these points without even knowing it. Everyone has a certain charm, a likability, that comes through when they are just being themselves. We are all unique, and we all have that special intangible in our own little way. If you get a little nervous, just take a few deeper breaths, and remind yourself that impressing someone else starts with impressing yourself, and the quickest & most effective way to impress yourself is to just be yourself ;)