6 Secrets to Creating a Powerful First Impression

First Impressions

Whether you like it or not you are judged by the first impression you make on others. From the moment you first meet someone you have about sixty seconds to make a good impression. This article will show you six secrets to creating a powerful first impression.

Regardless of whether it’s fair or whether it’s correct, it’s a true fact that the first impression is how we judge each other. There is an old saying that goes, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression.” After that you’re done. Your chance is over. If you make a bad first impression then you are constantly working on damage control. You will always be remembered for that first impression, good or bad. Therefore it’s extremely important that you learn how to make a powerful and positive first impression.

Think for a moment about the different people you have met in your life. Wasn’t it something about your first meeting with them that drew you to them? Isn’t it true that those people who have made the most powerful impact on your life are the ones that presented a powerful and positive first impression? What was it about that meeting that had such an impact on you? If you think about it you will realize that there are certain things these people did that impressed you. They knew the secrets of making a powerful first impression. No you will know the secrets too.

Secret Number 1: Take the Lead

What this means is to be outgoing. Don’t wait for the other person to step forward and greet you. You take the initiative. You be the one to step forward, shake hands, greet the other person and initiate the conversation. By doing this you are taking control of the situation and you are establishing a first impression as a leader; a person who is not fearful, timid or shy. You can’t help but be impressed when someone comes up to you, shakes your hand, introduces himself and initiates a conversation. Your goal is to be that person.

Secret Number 2: Smile

Okay, this is going to seem obvious yet it’s amazing how many people don’t do this. It is to SMILE!

Think about when another person greets you. Think about the difference in how you feel about the other person when they greet you with a cheerful smile or when they greet you coolly with a scowl on their face. What a difference between the two types of greetings.

It’s just common sense that we like to be greeted with a smile. It makes us feel more comfortable. It makes us like the other person more. We feel non-threatened. We feel accepted. We feel like it’s a safe place to be when the other person is smiling and in a good mood. We trust someone more when they are cheerful. A side benefit is that we just simply look better with a smile on our face than without one. So smile when you greet others.

Secret Number 3: Exchange Names

Whole books have been written on this subject. Countless articles have covered this subject. We all should know by now that the sweetest sound in the human language is a person’s own name. Secret number 3 is about exchanging names.

You need to get the other person’s name if you don’t have it. If you already have their name then you need to use it. Knowing their name and using their name is an excellent way to make a good first impression. You don’t always have the chance of knowing the names of who you will be meeting. If you already know their name, then use their name in greeting them. If you don’t know their name this is where you get their name.

To get their name, you can say “Hi, I’m James Walker. I don’t believe I’ve met you before.” They will generally give their name at this point. The other person says, “Hi, I’m Natasha Stevenson.” You say, “Natasha Stevenson, that’s an interesting name. Where did it come from?” By repeating it back you do two things. First it helps you remember their name and they like to hear their name. It also helps you to know that you heard it correctly and are pronouncing it correctly. One of the biggest social blunders is to mispronounce someone’s name.

If you are being introduced to a group of people, then one by one go up to each person and smile, shake their hand, give your name and then get their name. Repeat their name back to them. Do this greeting for each one, making a mental note of each name. There are many techniques for remembering names but that’s beyond the scope of this article. The point is to use one of the common name-remembering techniques to remember their names.

Secret Number 4: Dress the Part

Dress for success – we’ve all heard that term. Some people say, “People shouldn’t judge me by how I look. They should judge me for who I am.” That’s nice to say but that’s not reality. People do judge you by how you look. We do judge books by their cover. We wouldn’t even look in a book, let alone buy one, if we weren’t impressed with the cover. So, just like a book, you have to sell yourself on the outside.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to dress nice in my opinion. Maybe some people can tell the difference between a $90 shirt and a $20 shirt. A nice dress shirt that is pressed and in good condition or a nice dress that fits well and looks good on you will make a big difference. It’s really not so much the price of the clothes but the choice of the style and the fit and that it complements you. The way you dress has an impact on other people. If your shoes are scuffed and dirty, people notice those things about you. It tells them a little bit about who you are, your personality, your character. If you look nice, that makes a difference.

Some people can overdo it. They can be very overdressed with their Rolex watches and Armani suites and it’s obvious that that person may have a self-image problem and is trying to over-compensate or over-impress and in most cases it accomplishes exactly the opposite effect. Think about it. When was the last time a Rolex watch really impressed you? These days, for all you know, it was bought in Mexico for $15.00.

I think, within reason, you dress the part. In most situations there are different levels of dress. Obviously there is everything from a jogging outfit consisting of sweats and a t-shirt all the way up to formal wear. You have to judge what is the appropriate dress for the situation, whether it’s formal, nice business casual, casual or whatever.

It has always been my feeling that you should dress slightly one notch above how you think everyone else will dress. The idea is not that you will look ridiculously out of place but that you will simply stand out slightly. It’s much better to be one notch above than one notch below how other people are dressing. It can be very embarrassing to be in a situation where you are obviously underdressed. If everyone else is in a suit and you are in an open-collared shirt, you will feel very out of place and others will notice it too.

Secret Number 5: Show Interest

Secret number 5 is to show interest in the other person. People can’t help but be impressed with someone who is interested in them. It’s human nature. It’s irresistible. We all have an innate, natural, desire built into us to want to feel important. It’s part of being human. When someone shows interest in us it elevates our impression of them. Just like stroking a cat, she’ll hang around for more.

The way you do it is simple. Just notice things about them. If their name is of an obvious ethnic decent or they have an accent or there is something about them that is interesting to you, ask them about it. Be inquisitive.

Yesterday I had a business lunch with three people. Two of them I had never met before. One of them was a woman. She epitomized a lot of what I am saying here. She was very outgoing and friendly. She dressed very nice but wasn’t overdressed for the situation. I noticed she had an accent. It was very intriguing. I couldn’t quite place where the accent was from. So I asked her where she was from. She said, “You mean where I live now or originally?” I said, “Originally. I noticed you have an accent.” She told me she was from Moscow, Russia. So that brought up a conversation where she told me a lot about Moscow and what it was like. She went on to tell me about St. Petersburg and many other things about Russia. All this came from just one little observation and me showing interest in her.

Secret Number 6: Establish Your Credentials

This is the tricky one. Nobody likes “a brag.” We are all turned off by someone who boasts and talks about themselves incessantly. However, there is a point in a conversation where you need to establish who you are and what your credentials are. When I say “credentials” I mean what you do and what your title is. The other person does need to know who they are dealing with. This is something that should be done quickly and without a lot of glorification or fanfare. It should be done in an unpretentious and modest way.

For example, you might say, “Hello, I’m Mark Jones. I’m the IT Manager of XYZ Corporation. It’s my job to see that all the computer systems are running smoothly and efficiently.” A quick establishment of your credentials.

Maybe your credentials aren’t too impressive. “I’m Fred Smith. I’m a sanitation engineer for Waste Management. My job is to collect the excess refuge from each dwelling in the Smithville region.” You’re a garbage collector! You don’t have to glorify what you do. Yes, you want to present who you are in the best light possible but not with an absurdly overblown or embellished description.

Perhaps you don’t have any credentials. Maybe you’re just starting out. You wouldn’t say, “I’m currently unemployed. Nobody wants to hire me because I’m a loser.” You probably don’t want to say that. You should approach it in a better way such as, “I’m currently working on a business opportunity to teach and train individuals in the area of positive persuasion. That’s my specialty, my expertise. That’s what gets me up in the morning. I’m very passionate about this and that’s who I am.”

So find some way of presenting your credentials of who you are and what you do.

Become the Master of Powerful First Impressions

By following these 6 simple secrets you will be able to master and create powerful first impressions. You will see that people respond to powerful first impressions by giving you the respect and attention due any effective leader. You will be able to step out in a bold, confident manner and begin to positively influence and persuade others to your way of thinking.

Remember, if you blow your first impression it may be your last. So take charge of that first sixty seconds and leave a great first impression.

6 Tips to Develop Self-Confidence with Others

Self-Condidence

Are you the kind of person who struggles in social settings? Are you shy and tend to stand in the background? Do you run from social situations because they are scary and uncomfortable for you?

You may have seen other people that seem to project self-confidence. They appear to have no problem in any social situation. They make friends easily and seem to be able to connect with others. How do they do it?

Today I’m going to share 6 ways to help you develop confidence with others. If you follow these six simple tips you will begin to feel more confident with yourself and more comfortable in social settings. There is no magic here, just six simple tips. Here they are:

Tip Number 1: Be a Front-Row-Seater

When you attend any function such as a meeting, seminar, or class where there is a large group of people, what is the first row of seats that fill up? The back row! It seems like most everyone wants to be in the back, out of the way, unobtrusive, and unnoticed. They want to just slide into the back unobserved. You need to change that attitude. You need to be a front-row-seater.

Let’s face it; outgoing, confident people don’t sit on the back row. You will find those people sitting on the front row and that’s where you should be also. It’s a signal of your willingness to jump in and be a part of the situation. Sitting on the front row may be uncomfortable at first but it puts you right up there with the important people. Another benefit isthat you are better able to contribute to the meeting or discussion than if you are sitting in the back. So that’s my first suggestion is to be a front-row-seater.

Tip Number 2: Make eye contact

Have you noticed that shy people rarely look you in the eye? When you walk past them they tend to avoid you and look the other way. It’s very uncomfortable for them to look you in the eye. This usually happens because they are afraid to engage you, meaning if they acknowledge you in any way then they may have to actually say something to you. It’s easier and safer to pretend they don’t see you.

Maybe you are that kind of person and have that same problem. Maybe you don’t even notice it. Pay attention to how you react when you pass someone on the sidewalk or in the hallway at work. Do you look the other person in the eye and make eye contact? If not then you have some work to do.

If you want to convey the message that you are a self-assured and confident person then you need to practice looking others in the eye. Don’t be afraid of the other person. Acknowledge that you see they are there. I’m not saying you should stare them down or that it should be some sort of confrontation, but that it should be a friendly gaze into the other person’s eye.

Tip Number 3: Walk 25% faster

I’ve noticed that there are some people who walk extremely slow. It’s amazing how slow some people walk. I don’t even know how they can walk so slowly. My body doesn’t even go that slow. They just sort of plod along as if they were pulling a 200 pound weight behind them, dragging from one place to the next. It’s frustrating sometimes to get stuck behind slow moving people! When a snail has to tell you to get out of road, then you know you’re going too slow!

When you see someone like this, what are your thoughts? I don’t know about you but I have a hard time not thinking of them in negative terms, like they are aimlessly going nowhere. I’m ashamed to admit that the term “loser” crosses my mind a time or two.

But when you see someone walking briskly with their shoulders straight, their head up and they are moving forward as if nothing is going to stop them, you get the impression that they are a person that has confidence in themselves and are going places in life.

So my tip is to walk 25% faster than you normally walk. When I say 25% faster, I don’t mean that you should get a pedometer and measure exactly your walking speed and then increase it by 25 %. What I mean is for you to make sure you walk briskly with confidence, like you have somewhere important to be. Walk like you have meaning and direction in your life.

Tip Number 4: Speak Up!

You may not be aware of it but many times when we speak to each other we speak in barely audible tones. Have you noticed that people who are confident and seem to be going somewhere speak up, speak clearly and speak loudly? Again it’s a message of confidence. It’s a message of “I’m not afraid to speak up. I have a healthy self-image. I have something important to say and I’m not just going to mumble it or say something under my breath, but I’m going to speak up and be heard!” So speak up!

Tip Number 5: Smile and smile big

There are some people who seem to carry the whole world on their shoulders. They have a perpetual cloud over their head and a sour expression on their face. They make you wonder what kind of sad, miserable life they live.

Then there are those who go around with a permanent smile on their face. They are friendly and confident and cheerful. They look you in the eye and say “Hello!”

Think about which kind of people you like to be around. Are they the ones that always have a grim look on their face or those that have a smile? Let’s face it, who wants to hang around a grump? We would much rather be around those that are happy and cheerful. It’s normal and natural.

So smile and smile big! Show others that you are happy and that you are glad to see them. Show them that you are pleased with who you are and where you are going in life.

Tip Number 6: Call the other person by name

It’s been said many times that the sweetest word in the English language is a person’s own name. People love it when somebody uses their name.

Let’s be honest. When someone takes the time to learn your name and remembers it the next time they meet you, aren’t you impressed? Don’t you instantly like that person? And when someone who should know your name can’t seem to recall it, doesn’t your opinion of them drop by about 1000 percent? The non-verbal message is that you are not important enough for them to learn your name. We are all human and have a need to feel important. When someone remembers your name you feel more important than when someone can’t remember your name.

We can have impact and power with other people when we take the trouble to learn their name and use it then next time we see them.

So that’s my message for today. If you want to develop more confidence with others and feel more comfortable in social settings, follow these 6 simple tips.