By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
We say don’t judge a book by its cover but are swayed by presentation! Within seconds we have made up our minds and spend the rest of the meeting finding data to support our decision. According to research, seven seconds is the average length of time you have to make a first impression, which are all about: Appearance, Behavior and Communication.
Clearly, you are your best visual! In face-to-face meetings, 58% of how you are judged is based on your appearance and body language. People first notice your face, then your hair and finally your feet. Whether you notice these things or not, rest assured that others will.
· The first move you make in a meeting is the salutation – a handshake, a “namaste” or “good morning”. A warm, cheerful greeting, in a well-modulated voice, sets the tone for the start of a good business relationship.
· Everybody loves the sound of their own name! When conversing, use people’s name and you strike an instant rapport with them.
· Studies show that people who walk 10-20% faster and display briskness, are viewed as important and energetic. So, pick up the pace!
· Although words make up a mere 7% of your first impression, they are powerful and should not be left to chance. Words like “thank you” and “please” make you appear polished while words like “certainly” and “absolutely” are power words, adding weight to your dialogue.
· To cement a new relationship, demonstrate that you fully comprehend the needs of your business partner by listening to what’s said, summarizing and reverting with phrases like “Let me see if I understand…”.
· A smile shows that you are glad to be with people, while direct eye contact shows that you are interested. Body language signals like leaning slightly forward when speaking, makes you appear involved in the conversation and display confidence.
Like they say “You never get a second chance to create a great first impression”. In the business arena, you plan your every move so why leave this to chance?