In my workshops, attendees often talk about how they'd like to make better first impressions.
Most of us think we subscribe to the concept that we judge people based on knowing them for an extended period of time. The reality is often another story. Back in my acting days, we worked on our monologues for auditions tirelessly. But what we ALSO worked on:
- How we walked into a room (confident, but friendly)
- How we said our name (declarative, without an up inflection - like a question)
- Making eye contact with the auditors and smiling when first entering the audition room
- Rehearsing saying the name of the piece we’d be performing as well as the author and character in a clear, confident way
So why on earth would we focus all this attention on what seems like innocuous behavior? Because first impressions can make or break your ability to get the job. First impressions carry a lot of weight, and whether you’re auditioning for a role, interviewing for a job, networking, building your business, or looking for a date, the way people perceive you has everything to do with your ability to get what you’re seeking.
Spend time working on making a positive, friendly connection with potential clients, employers…as many people as you can because you never know how they might be able to help you out.
Yes, sometimes it’s a real effort. We all have bad days when we’re cranky. The effort you put into making a good first impression will pay off. Sure, be clear about your subject matter—practice speaking out loud your pitch, or your work history—but remember to pay attention to how you first connect with people. They won’t forget it.