First Impressions

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Image Consultant Toronto

Within the first three seconds of a new encounter, you are evaluated… even if it is just a glance.

People appraise your visual and behavioural appearance from head to toe. They observe your demeanour, mannerisms, and body language and even assess your grooming and accessories. Within only three seconds, you make an indelible impression. You may intrigue some and disenchant others.

It is human nature to constantly make these appraisals, in business and social environments. You may hardly have said a word, however once this three-second evaluation is over, the content of your speech will not change it.

You can learn to make a positive and lasting first impression, modify it to suit any situation, and come out a winner. Doing so requires you to assess your personality, communication skills, body language, physical appearance and goals. Some of the more common tips on first impressions include good eye contact, firm handshake, sharing a smile occasionally, and owning a clothes iron. Here are a few of my own pearls.

  1. Stand up or sit up straight. Roll shoulders back. Head upright with chin level to the ground. Chin up says, “I’m better than you or don’t trust you.” Chin down or slouching says “I’m shy, tired, depressed or hiding something.”
  2. Talk less. Listen more. Make the other person the focus of the interaction. People remember how you make them feel, not exactly what you said. Everyone loves a good listener who then takes what they’ve heard and intelligently responds.
  3. Speak at a moderate tempo with inflection. Enunciate your words. Avoid ‘like’, ‘um’ and other non-words. Increase your spoken vocabulary and use strong, meaningful words. Avoid obscure words.
  4. Dress like you care about yourself and the impression you make on the person you’re meeting. There is a place and time for just throwing on some old rags. When the impression of being extremely relaxed, lazy, sloppy and carefree is the impression you wish to make, go for it! Otherwise, put some thought into your appearance.
  5. Slightly lean into the conversation or greeting to show interest and engagement. Keep your body position directed towards the other person as opposed, for instance, to sitting sideways or standing next to the person.

Success comes to those with integrity, those that are resourceful, and those that make a fabulous impression!

Let us show you how to use YOUR precious three seconds. Practice these pearls and/or contact me for a personal assessment and put your best foot forward.

Written by Janelle Long of Janelle Long Image Management.