The Impact You Can Make On Someone’s First Impression of You
We all know that first impressions are deeply powerful in shaping your brand image. But what does that really mean? And how do you ensure that you are always making a strong, positive first impression – every time you enter a new situation?
To begin with, I want you to think back to one or two of the powerful, influential people you have met personally. Can you recall what it was like when they walked into the room? What did you notice about that person? How did you feel about your interactions with them?
There are four pillars to a powerful first impression: Credibility, Likeability, Attractiveness, and Power. Making a great impression means that you have communicated all of these qualities in a short period of time. Not easy to do – no wonder so few of us have mastered it!
When I think of great first impressions, I often think of Christine Clifford, the world-class speaker, author, and leader whom I have been fortunate to work with in my own speaking arena. Christine has impressed me as an outstanding, powerful person from the first moment we met. She is very well known and well connected (Credibility); she is positive and authentic (Like-ability); she is always very well put together and looks fabulous (Attractiveness); and she can command a room (Power).
Thinking about the influential people you have met, can you identify the ways in which they made powerful impressions on you? How does your own first-impression skill set match up?
Qualities of a Great First Impression
1. Credibility is what makes people want to trust you. It is shown not only in how well connected or well known you are, but also in how confident you appear in a given situation. Do you give the impression of being in control and comfortable, no matter how high the stakes? That lends credibility.
2. Like-ability makes people want to be around you, to interact with you, and of course to do business with you. Christine Clifford truly amazes me with her positive outlook (despite having survived breast cancer multiple times over) and with her consistency. From the first moment you meet her, through every subsequent interaction, she always seems to be the same honest and authentic person. That speaks to her likeability and to her credibility: she does not appear to have anything to hide, and she seems to truly enjoy what she does. A powerful combination.
3. Attractiveness is often what we focus on, but it is not the whole ballgame. Nonetheless, being dressed appropriately and taking care in your appearance does make a difference. Not only will the right clothing and styling bring out your best qualities, but it signals to others that you are taking the occasion seriously by presenting yourself well. Your appearance and an executive body language can also make you more confident and likable; it is always a good idea to be put together, for any situation.
4. Power is the combination of all three of the above qualities, plus the unspoken, easy confidence that comes from truly believing in yourself and what you have to offer. Power does not mean being overbearing or dominating a situation; it is more about your confidence and how you are treated by those around you.
When you meet someone for the first time, your senses go into overdrive as you quickly assess as much as possible about who they are and what they represent. The first impression you make does indeed last. How are you coming across? The best way to find out is to study the four pillars, including getting feedback from your peers and, if you are serious about mastering Executive Presence, from a professional.
Head to Toe Glow: Ready to Network and Make a Great 1st Impression!
How to look (and feel) your best when making a first impression while networking for business and work.
Do you always look and feel your best when you leave your home knowing you may run into that one client you are looking to attract?
Grooming is a part of our daily routine; we brush our teeth, take a shower, style our hair and get dressed, it is something we do every day. Call it routine or habit but it has been instilled in us since we were young and we carry that out in our daily lives today.
What I have found is that when we started dating we always looked good for our partners, we made sure our hair was perfect, our make-up was on, we always wore our best clothes and we made sure we looked hot. Whatever happened to those times?
We all have the same hours in the day but we don’t always use them to our advantage. If we could take a few extra minutes to pay attention to a few details in the morning it would make a whole lot of difference in how we perform for the day. Trust me, you will start getting compliments, you will start feeling better about yourself and the focus is off you and onto the other person.
Here are some great tips to pay attention to when looking your best for that next networking event.
Grooming and Make-up
- Get a good haircut, you may have to step out of your comfort zone to try someone new. Try to find a new style aligned to your personality, age, and clothing style.
Tip: Find someone you admire and ask them where they get their hair done.
- Ladies please put your make-up on. This is a must and one of the most important details you need to pay attention to. Society dictates how we should look not your image consultant, all though you image consultant can be a good asset. Here are a few items I suggest that are important.
- Foundation – is a must, this will help even out your skin tone and give you an all over smooth look.
- Blush – to add a little color to your cheeks. If you have a lot of color in your cheeks already you may not need any extra color.
- Mascara – black/brown or brown for women over 50, it helps soften our look
- Lips – always put your lips on, this is the finishing touch every women needs, find a color that will work with your skin tone and wardrobe.
- Brows – if you have bushy brows get them waxed and shaped this could make a world of difference. If they lack color use a brow pencil closest to your color and shade them in to add richness. Your eyes will pop.
Now For Your Wardrobe
Find something you love where the color looks great on you and it fits well. Oh and don’t forget to accessorize which is very important. This will help you add color and texture to your outfit it could be you add jewelry, scarf, purse or shoes that will be your preference.
Now look in the mirror how to you look from head to toe? Do you glow? Are you ready to network? Looking great as you walk out the door allows you to focus on the people you meet instead of worrying about how you look!