When you meet someone, they form a first impression of you within seconds. Once that first impression is made, it’s difficult to change, so you need to get it right the first time. To be successful in our highly competitive marketplace, it’s essential for others to form a great first impression of you.
A first impression is based on the 3 V’s – visual, vocal and verbal. All 3 V’s need to be aligned for you to make a powerful first impression.
Others pay the most attention to your nonverbal communication since they believe what they see more than what they hear. You can be saying all the right things, but if your body language is weak, that great first impression will be lost.
It’s not so much what you say, but how you say it that matters. To establish credibility and keep people interested, it’s critical that your voice be strong, dynamic and confident-sounding. Speaking softly or having a monotonous voice will ruin a first impression.
Do you say too many “ums”,”uhs” and “you knows” or speak too quickly? These habits are distracting to your listeners and take away from the power of your message.
Here are 5 ways to make a great first impression!
1. Use strong body language
Adopting good posture and open gestures makes you appear confident and approachable. Be aware of gestures such as crossing your arms and distracting mannerisms that may lead to the wrong impression.
2. Eliminate useless words
Excessive use of fillers is distracting and makes you sound less confident and professional. Replace those useless words with silence since your listeners would much rather hear nothing than constant “ums” as you’re gathering your thoughts.
3. Slow it down
We do everything fast in New York, including speaking too quickly! Speaking a mile-a-minute makes you sound less polished. Focus on saying each part of the word and be sure to incorporate pauses.
4. Use a powerful voice
Projecting your voice will make you sound more confident. The easiest way to do this is to open your mouth more when you speak. This will also improve your speech clarity and the sound of your voice.
5. Make your voice compelling
Emphasizing key words will help you achieve a dynamic voice. Be sure your pitch goes up and you say the key words louder and longer.