10 Ways To Make A Great First Impression In 30 Seconds
The first thirty seconds count. Whether its a date or a job interview, our brains make snap judgments about people within seconds of meeting them.
It starts before they even open their mouths. Research shows the first 30 seconds of an interview often determines whether the person gets hired or not.
Most of the time we dont even realize how quickly we judge people. Our subconscious mind evaluates the person in seconds. Our conscious mind then proceeds to identify clues that validate what we already think.
Its unfair, but its also a fact.
Whether its a sales call, a blind date, or a first meeting with future in-laws, if you want things to go well, it pays to be intentional about how you handle the first thirty seconds.
Here are ten tips to help you close the deal, land the job, get the guy, woo the woman, or win over your future mother-in-law:
- Open your body Before you walk in the door take a minute to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and straighten your posture. If you walk into the room with open body language youll come across as confident and relaxed.
- Smile It sounds obvious, but youd be amazed at how many people go into a meeting looking like they just smelled something bad. Dont wait for them to smile at you. Walk in smiling with your mouth and your eyes.
- Leave bulky bags outside Struggling with straps and packages makes you look frazzled and disorganized. If youre hauling around a thirty-pound Samsonite, discretely drop it by the door before you enter the room. You want the attention on the people, not your stuff.
- Make eye contact with everyone Its tempting to zero in on the person in charge, but while youre zooming in, the others feel left out. Upon entering, make direct eye contact with every person in the meeting.
- Let them know youre delighted to be there A comment like, Driving over here, I was thinking about how excited I am about this meeting. lets them know theyre important to you. You dont have to suck up, just sincerely share your enthusiasm.
- Get them talking within 30 seconds Dont start with a monologue. Engage them immediately by asking a question. Nodding with eye contact as they answer helps you establish an immediate connection.
- Be prepared, not scripted – Plan some comments in advance, but dont script things out so much that you sound like a robot. If their company just launched a great ad campaign, plan to mention it. Knowing you have something for later gives you more confidence in the beginning.
- Ask an unexpected question You can ease tension by asking something off- beat like, They say the world is going to end today, what do you think we should order for lunch? Only do it if youre comfortable with humor.
- Dont fidget As tempting as it is to tug at your waistband or tie, dont. When theyre talking look directly at them, dont fiddle with your socks.
- Be authentic Planning doesnt mean being fake. People can spot a phony. The goal of preparation is to give you the confidence that allows the real you to shine through. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is to be yourself.
Business strategist Lisa Earle McLeod specializes in sales force and leadership development. A sought after speaker, she is author of The Triangle of Truth, a Washington Post Top 5 Business Book.
Web site – www.TriangleofTruth.com
Copyright 2011 Lisa Earle McLeod. All rights reserved.