How to Make a Great First Impression

Maybe it was the time you stepped the wrong way on your high heels and fell in front of a new work friend. Or the time you got to a date and realized your roommate's pet's hair was decorating your black dress. These moments can make you feel frumpy and lose your inner Beyoncé. It probably had you thinking about whether there's a way to go to whatever school Kate Middleton went to, so you never have to embarrass yourself in public again.

Luckily, the collective public is quick to forget your personal mishaps, and walking better in heels can be fixed with a few easy exercises. But if you do want to "class up" yourself, you're in for a treat.

Being a classy lady or gent isn’t always easy. Most of us were not born with silver spoons in our mouths, much less know where a silver spoon is supposed to go on a table setting. Just because your etiquette game isn’t strong doesn’t mean you can’t strengthen those classy muscles of yours. So put those pinkies up and take a lesson on how to be a little more proper.

Mind Your Manners

Everyone loves a good “Please” and “Thank you.” It’s the little things that count, and that’s definitely the case with manners. Please don’t forget to say these kind words, or else people might forget you.

A Helping Hand

There’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ hand job. Hey! Not that kind — we mean a helping hand. Offering to lend some help will make you the ultimate classy lady/man. If you’re at someone’s house for dinner, always ask if they need extra help. When it’s time to clean up, offer a hand. If you have a friend who is going through a rough time or sounds overwhelmed, a helping hand is just what they need. With one hand, you can take the weight off anyone’s shoulders.

Dinner is Served

Ah, dinner time. A time when you can class it up, or inadvertently do the opposite. For starters, your grandma was always right — no elbows on the table, and put that napkin on your lap. Second, be sure to swallow your food before you tell that hilarious story about your brother. And third, communicating is key. Ask somebody to pass an item, instead of reaching out your dirty little fingers. Furthermore, always let the cook know how much you enjoyed the food. Show everyone how proper you are with those fine table manners.

The Written Word

No, I’m not talking about texting or writing a Facebook status update. I’m referring to the long-forgotten handwritten card. Sending a handwritten note is always welcome, and quite impressive. After a job interview, send a card. After you receive a nice gift, send a card. For certain occasions, like birthdays, illnesses, grieving, etc., send a card. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, so is a nice card — and it’s way more thoughtful.

Meet ’n Greet

No pressure, but first impressions are everything. Especially when it comes to meeting people. There are times in your life when you’re going to need to make a good first impression — a job interview, meeting the parents, work parties, dating, etc. To start out on the right foot, you need to know the proper etiquette of meeting a person. Be sure to stand up straight and shake a person’s hand (gently but firmly) when introducing yourself. Remember to show off those pearly whites and smile. Say your name and repeat their name back, so you won’t forget it. With the right meet ’n greet, people will be sure to remember you.

Phone Be Gone

I know you’re stoked about the new iPhone you just purchased, but listen up. Literally. You can’t be a good or active listener if you’re constantly on your phone. When you’re having a conversation with someone, put down your phone and look at them. Have we forgotten how to do this? When you’re having a dinner, you should be looking at the person in front of you, not your Instagram feed. Social media will always be there, unlike actual precious moments of real interactions.

Dress to Impress

To be a class act, you need to look the part. Dress to impress, and you’ll get four stars in my book. Dressing appropriately for the occasion is rule number one. When in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. I mean, have you ever worn ripped jeans when you shouldn’t have? Oh, the horror. If you want to step it up a notch, make sure your clothes are clean with no stains (listen to a girl with makeup stains always on her blouses, it’s a struggle), and are ironed to perfection.


Listen, I love a good cuss or two. It doesn’t mean that lingo is for everybody, though. I’m sure Grandma or your minster aren’t too jazzed on hearing those words. Make sure you’ve got the right audience for the language you use. It’s okay to have a potty mouth; just make sure you’re in the correct bathroom.

Image: Paramount Pictures; Giphy (8)