Making a positive first impression
First Impressions are made up of
7% the words you say
38% the voice tone you use
55% your non-verbal behaviour After the first few minutes these figures change. 50% of the impression you make then consists of the non-verbals - body language, gestures, voice tone etc. and the other 50% is what you actually say. In spite of this change, First Impressions are powerful and lasting!
The elements of a positive First Impression are:
Appearance - including Posture - Communication Skills - Non-Verbal Communication
Estimating your own First impression - 4 questions:
1. What do I look like?
2. What do I sound like?
3. What do I say?
4. How well do I listen?
Think about someone you know or have seen who is confident. Analyse this confidence:
• How do they carry themselves? (posture)
• How do they dress?
• How do they communicate, both verbally and non-verbally?
• Do they express their personality in a positive way?
• Are they respectful of others and how does it show?
• Are they punctual and prepared?
• Have they learned from and moved on from past mistakes?
• Are they enthusiastic and energetic?
• Do they appear cheerful and optimistic?
To look confident, we need to look relaxed, at ease and comfortable with ourselves. Other people will then be more inclined to feel at ease with us. Projecting enthusiasm and involvement will attract others. When we become shy or self-conscious we become preoccupied with our internal states and self-talk. We need to come out from our shell and concentrate on the other person and what they are saying, rather than ourselves. Learn good listening skills! In terms of body language, symmetry equals formality. Asymmetry reads as informal, relaxed and accessible.
For more presentation skills, check out our "Presenting With Impact" instant download training package.