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.
Making a positive first impression
when presenting, show your enthusiasm to your topic. You may want to curb your enthusiasm at times, but most presenters show too little passion or enthusiasm not too much. Yes, a presentation on medical treatments by a researcher is different than a CEO’s keynote. But, in each case the appropriate level of enthusiasm can make all the difference. Your audience can very easily gauge how passionate you are about your topic. They can tell. So, show this enthusiasm. It will make your presentation much more effective. Delivering data is easy but delivering it with emotion and showing your passion makes the whole difference.
The words you use can have an impact on showing your passion about what you are talking about. Always use words like amazing, awesome, outstanding, extraordinary, revolutionary, etc. to amplify and show your passion about your topic to your listeners because they will feel it.