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What People Who Give Off Great First Impressions Do Differently

What People Who Give Off Great First Impressions Do Differently

Have you ever dreamed of confidently walking into a room and becoming the magnet of attraction? Admit it, it’s a yes.

Did you know that studies have shown that we accurately predict someone’s social, economic, education, success and confidence levels in less than three seconds? What conclusions did you come to the last time you met someone new?

93% of the impression you make is based on what you look like and how you sound. Words are only responsible for 7% of the initial impression. If you want to leave a great first impression, your appearance and tone of voice need to show confidence and self-esteem. Then the message of your words can take over.

So here are some of the most important things that people who make great first impressions don’t do.

1. They don’t dart their eyes.

How do you feel when you are in the middle of a conversation and the person you are talking to looks away to check out who else is in the room? You probably feel insignificant. So don’t do this to someone else. And if you dart your eyes more than once during a conversation, it becomes repulsive.

Keep a steady gaze and give your undivided attention and empathy through eye contact, a slight tilt of the head, leaning in and nodding.

2. They don’t say stupid things.

A former colleague once asked where I went to college. I said, “Cornell,” and his immediate response was, “How did you get into that school? Who did you pay to take your SATs for you?” My jaw dropped and so did those of other co-workers who heard him. I immediately thought he was a jerk for saying such a stupid thing.

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It’s likely the fact that I went to a great school triggered a part of him that felt inferior. A few months later, when he and I spent a day together working on a project, he said, “I never knew you were so interesting and deep. I really like you. I’m so sorry for what I said.” So my negative impression of him turned positive after spending so much time with him.

You will probably not get a second chance to undo a negative first impression. So it’s important for you to bite your tongue when you want to say something dumb. Think before you speak.

3. They don’t hide their vulnerabilities.

Being vulnerable means you are confident enough to express your feelings. “I’m a little apprehensive coming to events where I don’t know anyone. But I’ve found that as soon as I introduce myself to someone I don’t know, I feel good. Hi, my name is…” Or, if after some small talk, you feel you are not at your best and something else is on your mind, admit it. “I’m usually a little more lively but I just experienced a horrible break up.”

By showing your vulnerabilities first, the other person will more than likely reciprocate with what they have experienced. You’ve just made a much deeper connection than you would have otherwise.

4. They don’t brag about themselves.

Someone who talks on and on about how great they are is a big turn off. “I just bought a Porsche…I’m the Vice President of….I have a summer home in the Hamptons…Let me show you my wine cellar…etc.” Wait until you are asked to share more about your life. And when you do share, be humble.

5. They don’t look sloppy.

Everyone judges a book by its cover. How you show up is a reflection of your self-worth. You don’t want your appearance to turn people off. Show up presentable and polished.

6. They don’t forget to say the person’s name.

There is nothing sweeter than the sound of your own name. How did you feel the last time someone said your name in the middle of sentence? Probably pretty good. Because so few people remember to say a person’s name in the middle of a conversation, if you do this, you’ll leave a better impression than most.

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7. They don’t sneak peeks at their phone.

If you’ve been the on the receiving end of someone who constantly looks at their texts and emails as you talk to them, you probably felt unimportant and you probably wanted to drop the conversation and move on. Give the gift of your undivided attention. Because so few people do this, you will positively stand out.

8. They don’t have poker face. 

Lack of expression will look like you are holding something back or that you are socially awkward. A genuine smile makes you approachable and attractive.

9. They don’t walk like a wimp.

When someone walks with their shoulders slumped and looking down, what’s your impression? “What’s their problem? They look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.” If you have burdens that hold you back from feeling good, do something about them so you can show up confident.

10. They don’t talk like a wimp.

Speaking tentatively and softly shows lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Work with a coach or therapist to overcome your fears so you can speak fearlessly and confidently.

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    11. They don’t forget to ask about people’s families.

    Find an opening to ask questions about family. Your connection will go deeper fast.

    12. They don’t talk excessively about their kids.

    Most people are not interested in hearing everything about your kids. Pick another topic.

    13. They don’t have negative self-talk.

    Ever been guilty of thinking, “I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’m ugly, I’m not smart, I’ll never amount to anything, etc.”? The more negative self-talk you have, the lower your energetic vibration and the more likely you will turn people off.

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    Positive thoughts such as, “I’m fabulous, I’m smart, I’m attractive, I’m loving,” emit positive energy and make you attractive.

    14. They don’t churn in the past.

    Just about everyone has emotional baggage. Some have more than others. If you have made lemonade out of your lemons of your negative experiences, share your story and inspire others.

    15. They don’t hide their bodies.

    Having 10 extra pounds on you is not going to ruin your first impression. When you are proud of your body, others will be attracted to your self-love energy.

    On the other hand, if you are too out of shape, it reflects a lack of self-love. So you need to get to the bottom of why you don’t love yourself enough to treat your body right.

    16. They don’t wait for others to approach them.

    If you approach others first, they will be impressed with your confidence at making them feel at ease. Everyone is waiting for someone else to go first. Why not let that be you?

    17. They don’t talk too much.

    You have one mouth and two ears. When you let others talk through asking questions because you are genuinely curious, you will leave a great impression because you are making the other person feel important about what they have to say.

    18. They don’t monopolize the conversation.

    If you are on the receiving end of someone who is very attentive to what you have to say, just remember to reciprocate and make it a two-way conversation. Reciprocate and ask questions about them so that you can leave a great impression too.

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    19. They don’t interrupt.

    It’s rude to cut someone off in the middle of a sentence. If you’ve been on the receiving end of this you know how bad this feels. So don’t do this to someone else. Wait until they are finished before you speak.

    20. They don’t just ask small talk questions. 

    Small talk is fine when you first meet someone, but it won’t help you make a lasting bonds. When appropriate, go deeper with more powerful questions. These questions also help to make them feel validated and important.

    • What’s most exciting about what you do?
    • What would you like to be doing three years from now? What’s your mission?
    • What’s the biggest challenge you have with getting to the next level? Maybe I have someone in my network I can introduce you to help you get there.

    21. They don’t hold back compliments.

    The #1 most important human need is to be validated and appreciated. Give sincere compliments freely. “I love your dress.” “I love your tie.” “I admire the passion you have for raising money for the Cancer Society.”

    22. They don’t hesitate to touch.

    Touching appropriately mean a soft touch to the elbow, back or shoulder. When the moment is right, take advantage of the this sincere gesture, you will be instantly seen as more attractive and likable.

    23. They don’t hesitate to help others.

    Help solve other’s problems first. Maybe it’s a tip, maybe it’s an introduction to someone in your network. In return, the Universe will eventually show you the help you need to take your life to the next level.

    24. They don’t forget to follow up within 24 hours.

    How did you feel when an acquaintance followed through with something? You were probably pleasantly surprised because very few people follow through with promises. Follow up right away to leave a lasting great impression.

    Bottom line:

    You only have three seconds to make a great first impression. If you want to be the magnet of attraction, not only do you need to have confidence and self-esteem, you also need to show verbally and nonverbally that you are genuinely happy to get to know them. The more you make the other person feel comfortable, heard and seen, the more you will be instantly liked and leave a great and lasting impression. Conversely, if you are too self-absorbed, people will avoid you like the plague when you walk into a room.

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    Resources to further your learning:
    Basic techniques of winning others over: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    Advanced techniques of winning others over: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

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    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

    Warming up

    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

    Stay hydrated

    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

    Meditate

    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

    2. Focus on your goal

    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

    3. Convert negativity to positivity

    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

    4. Understand your content

    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

    5. Practice makes perfect

    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

    6. Be authentic

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

    7. Post speech evaluation

    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

    Improve your next speech

    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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    • How did I do?
    • Are there any areas for improvement?
    • Did I sound or look stressed?
    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
    • Was I saying “um” too often?
    • How was the flow of the speech?

    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

    Reference

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