A self-confident person knows how to listen. Have you ever noticed that there are some people you just love to be with? You can talk to them hour after hour and you just enjoy their company. But with others you just don't have much to talk about? Maybe you will spend a few minutes, but it's not fun to be with them? On Saturday night when you're going to meet the parents of your new boyfriend and you want to make a favorable impression, try these five listening techniques:

1. Maintain eye contact. Remember: "staring" and "eye contact" are two different things. Staring means that your eyes are bulging and wide open. Eye contract is not 100% of the time. You may sway away temporarily but always come back to their eyes especially when speaking.

2. Have interesting facial expressions. Have you ever tried to talk to someone who has no facial expression? It makes you want to knock on the person's head and say "Hello! Are you in there?". Your facial expression should be an honest reflection of the way you're feeling or reacting. If someone is talking about something really sad, you're not going to sit there with a big smile on your face. And if someone is talking about something happy, you're not going to wear a frown. .

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3. Give a slight nod now and then. Just a slight nod without saying one word will help a person know that you understand, "Yes, I'm paying attention, go on, I'm with you". When you are listening to somebody a slight nod reinforces for the listener ("OK, she is with me, she knows what I'm saying so I can go on.")

4. Open your body position. What does it look like if having conversation with your girlfriend and she is sitting with her arms crossed in front of her chest, tilted back, tapping their foot and looking at her watch? You'd probably think, "She is bored or she does not want to be here, and would rather be somewhere else." So when you are listening to someone talk, sit up straight and have your hands folded in your lap. Arms that are crossed in front of your chest send a message that says," I'm not interested. I am closed to new ideas, suggestions and challenges." That is not the impression you want somebody to get of you, is it? So, open your body position.

5. Lean forward slightly. Imagine when you're with a friend down in the lunchroom and somebody says, "Wait till you hear what happened to me on Saturday night!" What do you do? You naturally lean forward and say, "What happened?" It's a reaction that makes people feel that we care and that we are interested. That is one of the things you want to project when you're meeting someone for the very first time.

If you use these five techniques every time you have an important conversation you will always make a good impression and project confidence. Plus, it will not cost you a dime! Try them on your parents, your teachers and your friends. See how they feel about it. I think they are going to want to talk to you longer. And after the conversation is over they are going to say themselves, "Gosh, she is such a nice and interesting person. I really love talking to her." The five "good listener" rules will also help you during your future job or college admission interviews, modeling and talent auditions, business meetings and social gatherings and pretty much in every life situation where you need to project confidence and show people that you respect them and what they have to say.