How to Impress in Seconds

Neil StraussNeil44 Comments

I’m often asked about how to make a great first impression. So to help you put your best self forward in those crucial first moments, I’d like to share a chapter I wrote for the book entitled The Experts Guide to Doing Thing Faster. It’s what they call in journalism a “service article,” which means it’s practical advice you can implement right away. So get to it…

Make a Winning First Impression

From The Experts Guide to Doing Things Faster

To make a winning impression, you must radiate a positive energy and an intriguing vibe. Because people primarily seek out and associate with those who appear to possess higher social status, you must begin by establishing your own high status. Fortunately, status is not signaled solely by wealth, fame, or beauty, but also by behavior. Here’s how to build yours quickly:


  • Be well groomed and comfortable in your clothing. Don’t leave the house feeling self-conscious or in disarray.
  • Make a grand entrance. Smile and laugh as you enter. If you’re with other people, let it be seen that they’re enjoying your company. If you’re alone, interact with people immediately, as if you know them.
  • Body language is key. Don’t clutch your phone, search your purse, or fiddle with your straw. Smile, hold your head up, and maintain good posture. Stand in the center of the room—don’t shrink into a corner. Make large, smooth gestures, and be neither too stiff nor too spastic.
  • Lock eyes momentarily with the person you’re interested in meeting, acknowledge her with a brief conspiratorial smile, and return to your conversation.

Once you’ve established yourself as the social center of the room, or at least a fun, magnetic person whom anyone would be lucky to meet, approach the object of your attention with the following in mind:


  • People want to extricate themselves from strangers who monopolize their time. You don’t want to be that stranger. So when engaging a person for the first time, convey a willingness to leave by mentioning that you must return to your friends in a moment.
  • If the person is standing with others, approach with an equal or slightly higher energy level than the group; if you bring them down, they’ll want to get rid of you.
  • If the person is with friends, shower the friends with equal or greater attention. If you win them over, you’ll win over the person you care about impressing.
  • Act like a social equal, even if you’re not. If the person walks by while you are engaged in another conversation, stop him, tell your friend to “hang on for a minute,” and introduce yourself. Afterward, with a confident smile, say, “That’s it. I didn’t want to miss out. You may walk on now.” Chances are no one’s approached the person like this before and he will be receptive when the conversation is reinitiated.
  • Avoid generic questions such as “Where are you from?” Have a couple of fun topics cued up that have nothing to do with the person, the environment, or your accomplishments. Ask for help thinking of a name for a three-legged cat, or say that your friend’s girlfriend chats with guys on the Internet and you’re having a debate over whether that’s considered cheating. Real conundrums are preferable to made-up ones.
  • Until the person warms up to you, don’t give her your full attention and positive body language. While focused on the conversation, keep some distance and stand perpendicular to her, speaking over your shoulder. Create the impression that you have other things to do, and you’re just stopping by to share some positive energy.
  • Never be negative. Embody a world others want to be part of by appearing healthy and happy.
  • Never boast. If there’s something you want the person to know about you, have a friend enter the conversation and convey the information.
  • Be an authority over the person’s world. Teach her something new about herself, such as what her body language communicates, or appreciate something about her that others don’t notice. Let her know she has met your standards, and help her feel good about herself.
  • Don’t appear to want anything. Figure out what the person needs (attention, approval, excitement, intimacy, enlightenment), and demonstrate that you can provide it. But don’t give it away instantly—make him work for it. After you get what you want (whether a phone number, recognition, or information), stick around for a minute and talk about another subject so the  person doesn’t feel used.


If you successfully manage all this, you’ll become a captivating person whom others want to see again—and there’s no more winning impression than that.


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44 Comments on “How to Impress in Seconds”

  1. It’s great how you break it down in a simple way to be able to view the whole process in a technical sense… Practice makes perfect, or better put, a natural.

    1. I must say the only advice I ever followed on doing things faster was to drink more coffee. I think this book is going to have to go on my ever growing Amazon list.

      I never thought about how I made an entrance before reading ‘The Game’, but since then I’ve made a conscious effort to impress, even when it’s entering a coffee shop or ordering drinks at the bar, you never know who is watching right?

      Thanks for sharing everything you have learnt with us Neil, as The Phantom says it’s great how you can break it down into a simple process.

      Much love and success to everyone.

      Dee x

      1. Very insightful. I love how all the tiny subtle gestures can accumulate within those precious few seconds in order to give the impression of how awesome you are.

        This going to the top of the list for me to purchase.

    2. Learned so much in less than 10 min…. And I couldn’t agree more with The Phantom, let’s make this natural in us.

  2. Would anyone like care to explain to me why one might say: “That’s it. I didn’t want to miss out. You may walk on now.” to the person you are trying to meet after you abbruptly stop the person and shake there hand. It seems way too soon to say by and the quote seems a little awkward. I’m sorry I just do not get it.

    Thank you SO much for everything else though, it was INCREDIBLY helpful.

    1. I think it’s important to initiate contact with her so she recognizes you’re there. But, by dismissing her quickly you’re able to a) establish and appear assertive in conversation for that brief period of time and (personally) create a time limit for your conversation (No girl wants to be stuck in a conversation for hours with a stranger).

      When I say something like “I didn’t want to miss out” or “I would have never forgiven myself if I didn’t say something” reaffirms their value and makes it easier to re initiate a conversation with them later on in the night (if you so choose to do so).It allows you to fragment the conversation while demonstrating that you’re confident in a social setting.

      Hope that helps?

      1. Well put, DanielTK. Keeps you holding the strong frame, and prevents you from seeming too needy/desperate/eager. And thanks The Phantom, DeeDee, and Midnite–glad it was useful. I will have to try this “coffee” thing 😉

  3. Glad you make it back in one piece Neil! This is an awesome article. I’m about to go out and it was an excellent reframe for me…. so hopefully tonight will go well for me after reading this. Thanks!

  4. “introduce yourself. Afterward, with a confident smile, say, “That’s it. I didn’t want to miss out. You may walk on now.”” That is a great line!! I am adding this to my document and trying it out, thanks for the advice Neil.

  5. Neil, somewhere there was a post that had a picture of you walking into North Korea (or wherever it was). What I was interested in wasn’t the photo, but the shirt you were wearing. What brand was it?

    (Warhol once remarked: “I see a ’50s film, next to a ’60s film, next to a ’70s film, and all I can look at are the shoe styles.”)

  6. For all those like myself that haven’t had the chance to read much of your(Neil) stuff beside “The Game”, I pray that they were able to notice some good comparisons(sometimes more than simple comparison) to the various steps of a decisive drag with a woman… “Awesomeness”, once again. Many thanks!

    ” Nicknames, real name… Just call me the name you think fits on me the most! ”

    – Manu

  7. Im going through a big change at this moment in my life, and after started reading The Game it have changed the way I was changeing(Positive).
    And I’ve also figured out that I had a one-otitis problem which im over now 😀
    Anyways you’re all gonna see my posts very in some time when im done studying and start getting out in the field ;D
    Btw. great article! (:

    1. Thanks, congrats on getting through your one-itis, and looking forward to the stories and posts when you’re back in the field.

      1. Oh I should definitely have spellchecked my post before submitting it 😀
        Btw, I actually made my one-itis ask me out and set a date.
        But I wont go totally one-itis on her again, hopefully 🙂
        But that is all thanks to your book(;

  8. I definitely agree with the point about not leaving after a number is obtained. It is always best to leave on a high note and sometimes there can be a lull after you achieve your objective (getting her number). It is paramount that upon leaving there is a mutal feeling of genuine happiness shared between both parties that you are happy to have been a part of each other’s night, even if it was just for five minutes. Also,if a girl strikes you as especially insecure, you do not want her to start out thinking that you are just using her by leaving after taking her number. Women want to feel secure and as responsible man it is your duty to radiate security and confidence.

  9. Neil, how have you been? How was your trip to that mysterious country?

    You can’t stress how important it is to look good enough. Girls do it all the time when they take forever to get ready, but when you are looking good you automatically feel better and more positive.

    And to share someone w/ everybody, the other day I did like 15 approaches, and in like 4 of those I got completely blown out of the water, just big time rejected. Me and my buddy got good laughs out of those.

    Note fellas, remember to neg those HBs 🙂

    1. I’ll write a post or email about the trip after the Society intensive this weekend! And it’s funny how if you skip one little piece of this, it affects your results. But keep practicing like you are, and soon you’ll get to that unconscious competence level.

      1. It really is true Neil. Every element has its purpose and they are all needed. After a while of practising you can anticipate what’s going to happen next as well as intuitively sense things, like knowing when she wants more attention or kino.

        Looking forward to your update Neil. Feel free to include any juicy details and factoids hehe.

  10. Neil i am like 280 pound guy, and im 6 2″ a big guy like me asking opinions at the club kinda scares the chiks away.

  11. Another great piece with very useful information. As a trainee lawyer, first impressions are everything and all these little “tips and tricks” have worked wonders. Thanks again.

  12. How long does it usually take before the smoke screen dissipates and the truth about who you are and how you behave is there to be seen in plain view? What happens then?

    Isn’t life simpler, more rewarding and a more accurate reflexion of you when you are simply being authentic all the time, with everyone, and in everything you do, as opposed to acting like you are someone else and present some other made-up character that you PERCEIVE as being better or more fit to be shown to the world than who you are?

    Just asking…

    1. I think you might be misinterpreting the meaning of this article somewhat. Neil does not suggest you create some elaborate smokescreen to hide behind, rather making a conscious effort to make sure to always present yourself in the best manner possible. The first lessons in the ‘Rules of the Game’ are designed not to help you create a false persona, but to help you conquer confidence inner demons and to help you as a person so that you feel more confident and secure in yourself.

      That way when you walk into a club laughing and calling attention to yourself it’s because you know that actually you ARE interesting and you ARE worth the time and attention of these people, they just don’t know it yet. It is not dishonest to want to be the very best you can be, it’s dishonest to deny yourself every opportunity to learn what it is that makes you happy and feel good about yourself.

      1. DeeDee-
        Good point. There’s a line that I think comes out of the Norman Vincent Peale philosophy: Act enthusiastic and you’ll be enthusiastic. (It gets tossed around a lot at sales conferences, so I’m sure of the exact source.) But it’s basically saying that you’ll change yourself into what you want to be. And, to me, that’s really the philosophy undergirding what Neil teaches. You become a better you and as you’re doing that you – almost naturally, although with some help – attract people.

  13. Neil,

    “hang on for a minute,” and introduce yourself. Afterward, with a confident smile, say, “That’s it. I didn’t want to miss out. You may walk on now.”

    – This is fucking GOLD. It guarantees a 100% success rate, and if you run this line on everybody in your domain, now you are the most happening guy in the room, like you’re the new Pat Swayze; a man who appeals to all woman universally.

    To shift out of the flattery gear into the “REALITY AS I KNOW IT” gear: (unsolicited advice ahead)

    You want to make a good impression? Train 6 days a week like clockwork with the discipline and intensity of a pro athlete (start with a 5 year commitment). Your heavy lifting sessions should never clock in under 2 hours, and KEEP meticulous records in an organized agenda to keep you on track and focused in the moment.

    At first, you might do it because you want to look like the 220 Lbs Special Forces Paratrooper in “Men’s Health”, but when you’ve reached your goal and you WILL, what you come to know is that it simply is NOT enough!

    What I found on the inside of me is a DEEP NEED for extreme levels of discipline in everything I do. There are many intangible factors beyond our control, but that does not justify allowing the things that we can control to slip through our fingers while we chase after immediate gratification.

    Why do some people believe that training to find beautiful women, and then being in a position to satisfy their every need is a TERRIBLE AND DECEITFUL SYSTEM of CHEATING? Training like an Olympian is guaranteed to produce champions in every other endeavor, but when it comes to relationships, we should rest on the wretched default human behavior built into us? FUCK NO. I’m a champion.

    Next post, I am going to elucidate for you chaps, the insights I’ve collected on the “Leader-follower” paradigm.

    For right now, you can call me Mr. Happy.

    All the very best,

    JohnPaul Adamovsky

    PS – The next floating-turd to call me a “troll” will be offered as a human sacrifice by public humiliation, and all for the greater good.

    PPS – I am a contributing member of this site and I didn’t even buy Neil’s anti-competitive manifesto. How does that make you feel? Buying his book wasn’t a requirement if you were already a WINNER. I literally shit excellence, and so everybody wants a piece of my shit. I piss superiority, you get the picture.

    1. umm half your post was fine, and default behaviour IS unacceptable, i argue for strauss with other femmenistes alot, they dont understand the actual principal whereas despite my state, i lived with you lot, but language? really? the arrogance would make a 10 like me and any of my 10 sisters, wether models, rockstars, lawyers, power brokers, etc run like hell, theres got to be sweetness to a man or we dont care, trust me. and despite whatever you may think of my “reputation” i generally always get who and what i want. thank you darling, been a pleasure, i really wish you guys would up your game and adjust it to a higher demographic of women who are educated and high end.

      1. Wow,

        That is a great set of tits you have.

        Your writing style, on the other hand, is sagging, weak, all over the place, and lacks any kind of coherent theme. Did you go to the “school of hard-knocks” or something, to get “educated”?

        Chasing Tail: It’s great, but just like Neil, when you get good enough at it like I did, it simply is not enough! The thrill is gone and you are left feeling EMPTY inside.

        I am an aerospace-science engineer, and the World’s Foremost Expert in Lexicon Data-Structure Optimization.

        Read this if you think I am being “arrogant”:

        Now you know that I am just an HONEST MAN, who has developed an entertaining and effective STYLE.

        All the very best,

        JohnPaul Adamovsky

        PS – [email protected] – Take some initiative, and email me.

        PPS – Genuine acts of kindness to total strangers is the sort of thing that changes peoples minds. Go out and do likewise.

      2. I have to agree with you on your post. I atleast do desire a lady who has a professional goal for her life and that is what will be important in the future for those who want a family and want to settle their lifes.

    2. It is better not to waste my time, but one minute is enough.
      Starting with your picture, to the end of your post, I quote “A rich man does not need to say he’s rich.”

      1. I couldn’t agree more. People who are coky and full of themselves are not going to get anywhere in life. You said 1,000 things in your simple post. I salute you for that.

  14. ok try that with mick jagger, i just did! it wasnt that hard. will tell you some time. as you know, fun , telling him, about marc s[itz s book and gen x versuon of him and how i always get tired of being compared to keith and i love cricket and how is the cricket field in mustique he built? ps winning over lwren? not an option. hardball straussy i read this thing too!

    1. oh yes, never ever ever tell another woman by text or phone or on any level when you like or are attracted to a high quality man, because your best friends will totally sell you out, hard, i said a guy was CUTE i didnt say i was going to MARRY him and i texted it to 3 people, all my “girlfriends: and shockingly the one that sold me out, is plain as day, quite talented, never been too succesful and not much of a threat in my eyes, she told him horrible shit about me, and actually i ended up loathing the guy as he was so utterly hostile and saw him as a weak willed, gold digging, failed rockstar with a horrible mean streak and ended up deleting his number and when his name is brought up i get grossed out, when inn fact he made me laugh , for one evening. but stupidly told anyone, i asked a colleage who left hollywood and ended up w a fabulous billionare dude ( they arent my cup of tea, after the “b” they tend ti get insane, but equivalent to my net worth is fine above is fine below is fucking fine i dont equivicate money yall are too hung up on it ) thats a score for alot of women but its the lifestyle change that stumped me, pretty succesful and a killer bod, and etc, so i aasked her how she pulled this coup off, “silencio” is all she said, and man, she is sooooo right, when i found out this bitter “friend” had all but ruined an at least ok friendship with
      ” blahblah ( me miss way too famous) likes you run for the hills” i was utterly shocked, actuallty, yes i think hes cute and hes funny toom but botttom line i needed some data from his vocation, he was an ass about it a total smug ass, because of this girl, silencio, tattoo it on your ass ladies.

  15. Excellent insights. Every word has truth, value, and validity. And you know when all this stuff really becomes successful (with girls and life in general)?

    When it stops being a game and become intrinsic to who and what you are.

    That’s why girls are attracted to successful men: they’re not TRYING to be/look successful, they ARE. Men are programmed by evolution to strive to be the best dude to impress the most women in order to sow the most seed…women are programmed to select the best man to father her young: a smart, strong, successful man who can provide the best genes to her young and provide for her during pregnancy and then thereafter during the raising of said young.

    Now, in our society, this evolutionary drive is camouflaged by game. Often it means girls go for rich dudes and guys serially chase girls. Meh. It is what it is. But Neil has it right: become the best man you can be, and women will be impressed.

    And no, this doesn’t mean driving a Porsche, wearing a Rolex and flashing a black credit card in every case. I chose a guy I knew was dirt-poor, but he was smart, good looking, had drive and creativity, and funny. He impressed me with HIMSELF, even without fancy stuff and money. He drew me in with humor and wit. Our first date was a cup of Bailey’s and coffee, because that’s all he could afford, but it was the best first date ever, because his confidence and personality was awesome, as was the conversation. 13 years and 4 kids later, we’re still crazy about each other…and drive each other crazy…and I remember every day why I picked him, and try to remind him why he picked me. 😉

    So, that’s my take on it: be yourself, but be your best self. It shines through.

  16. “But don’t give it away instantly—make him work for it. ” one of many references above to He or Him or some male figure, im confused why you are refering to a male that ur trying to pick up?

  17. One thing that I have learned over time is to be bold and not show any signs of weakness or insecurity. If a women sees that then her perspective of you will totally change and she will think that you are putting on a show or that you are a weak link that is a poser or trying to be a hiphop star when your really a bag boy. But if you do everyhting in cofidence then she will see you as the rooster in all of the group because you stand out as the one with the balls to do what ever it takes (WIT) to get or do what you want. And women admire men who have initiative to do things or achieve goals. I have never seen a homless man that smelled like a pile of animal shit and get laid by hot women like Megan Fox (before plastic sugery). You want to know why? A good number or portion of them fucked up their lives because they didnt have the confidence to reach their goals and do WIT to be something successful. And I do understand that some people or families become homless because of other reasons and I would lik eot make it clear that I am NOT referring to them. But as I was saying that the bold ones stick out. Just like if you were to look at a piece of paper that had a whole bunch of words in a 12 font and there was one word that was bold, your eyes will gravitate to that one word in particular because it stands out. And if you want the attention from someone then you need to be that bold word on the sheet of paper surrounded by the normal font words. Not only will you recieve attention from the person you are desiring it from but you will also recieve it from other people around you wich will make the person want to know what it is about you that is attracting attention to you. There for you have created a cycle that may seem long and hard but once you vizualise it and actually put it into act then it will seem very simple and easy. But one very important thing is PATIENCE! Without it not very much can be accomplished.

  18. Great post! Seduction starts with yourself and how you portray your identity to others. Great advice!


  19. You always seem to have a way of putting your own twist on an everyday saying, without trying too hard. Creativity at its finest!
    Some people will tell you to just be your self but learned (from Neil) to be your best self. This will not happen over night. I say to increase your productivity by 1% each day, that way you will not get discouraged when you fail and do not see results right away.
    Read more books and surround yourself with people you want to become.

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