When A First Impression is Actually Made

First impressions are huge. 

Our minds form beliefs, interpretations, and understandings before we even realize what happened.  In fact, we often don’t even realize we have made a first impression as much of the impression is actually a subconscience action - our minds work to connect dots in a way we rarely recognize.

And first impressions happen quickly.

We only get one chance to make that first impression, and it is often made before we even realize it.

When the First Impression Is Actually Made

If we are meeting someone new or someone important, we often get nervous meeting them.  For example, last May, I had the opportunity to meet a hero of mine - Michael Hyatt.  Ever since I picked up his book Platform, I became hooked on many of his life philosophies.  

So when I had the opportunity to meet him in person, I was excited and a bit nervous.  

Being a natural introvert, it took allot of courage to walk up to the group of people who were standing around him chatting.  I am sure my posture wasn’t the best and I actually hesitated several times before I had the courage to walk up to the group.

After about five minutes, I finally mustered up the courage, to join the group.  I made sure that my posture was good and that I was relaxed, but confident - I was trying to make a good first impression.

But what I didn’t realize was that I had already made my first impression five minutes earlier - while I was getting the courage to join the group.

Entering A Room

This last year, I have implemented a new strategy every time I conduct a seminar, workshop, or any type of speaking engagement.

I make sure I enter the room intentionally.

Most of the seminars I put on require me to take about ten minutes to set up my computer.  I am often nervous and trying to prepare myself for a day of teaching. 

I do arrive early on the first day, but as these seminars require attendees to travel up to several hours to attend, the room is often half filled up to a half an hour before the scheduled start time.

So whenever I walk into  a room with half of the attendees there, I am making my first impression the moment I walk into the room.

How I Make My First Impression

When I walk into a room for the first time during a seminar, I now do three things:

  1. I make sure I am smiling.  Smiling always brings out the best in me and helps to disarm any concern or skepticism from the attendees.
  2. I pull up my posture and confidence.  Before I enter a room, I say a few affirmations like - Its a great day to be doing this.  This is going to be a fantastic day, and I can’t wait to get this party started.  These affirmations help to build my confidence - a confidence that helps me make a great first impression.
  3. I acknowledge the group.  Since they are all looking at me and trying to determine if I am going to be just another boring speaker, I intentionally acknowledge the group.  While it may not always be verbally, I at least look around and smile at and acknowledge those who are forming their first impression of me.

A Question For You

How good have you been at first impressions?