Presentation Knowledge Hub

Make It or Break It

Why Making a Good First Impression Is Everything in Business

In any form of business interaction, first impressions have the power to make or break a deal. In fact, you only have 7 seconds to make a positive first impression about you and your business.

Why should you make the most of each of these first seven seconds?

People will already have formed opinions about you within this seven-second window, so making a good first impression is vital.

Here’s how to blow their minds.

Dress for Success

Proper dressing is an important factor when making first impressions. Proper dressing includes your clothing, accessories, hairstyle, and make-up- everything that paints a ‘perfect’ picture.

Appropriate dressing shows that you’re a serious person who respects their job or business. You need to appear successful and confident too. This way, you’ll win the confidence of your audience.

When you’re nicely groomed, it shows that you don’t hold the encounter in high regard that is why you did not put any effort.

When you poorly dressed, you distract your audience and they fail to listen to your message. Different industries have different dressing code. Find out what is acceptable and what is not to help you blend.

In moments of doubt, stick on the conservative side. Make sure your dressing doesn’t make your audience feel uncomfortable.

Be Punctual

Business people like to keep time. To be on the safe side, plan to arrive 20-30 minutes before agreed time. These minutes act as buffer to absorb any unplanned event that might delay you.

If you’re running late due to circumstances before your control, call or send a text to explain your situation.

Always apologize for running late. Remain professional and don’t come up with an excuse. Don’t dramatize your lateness.

After the meeting, you can write an email with further explain your reasons for being late.

Show Confidence

Culture determines how people greet each other. This means they vary. Some bow, some kiss on the cheek, and others hug. In most corporate set up, people greet by shaking hands. When shaking someone’s hand for the first time, look straight into their eyes and maintain a firm grip.

It may sound so simple and to some extent unnecessary but it means more than meets the eye. After shaking hands, introduce yourself by saying your name and make sure you smile. This indicates you are confident person and positive about the.

Be loud and clear. Be quiet and attentive as the other person introduces themselves. Make sure you remember their name.

Add a polite phrase appropriate for the occasion like “Thank you for inviting me” or “It’s been a pleasure meeting you”. Such polite phrases help to express your gratitude.

Use the Right Body Language

Your body language speaks more than you can imagine. When your body posture is slouched and closed, it send the message that you are less interested in the other party. That quickly influences how the other person interacts with you.

You should stand straight and at a natural pose. Your shoulders back, your head up and arms at your side. This stance shows that you are enthusiastic and willing to interact.

When the other party is talking to you, face them with your shoulders squared to theirs, maintain eye contact and keep your hands to your side. This shows all your attention is channeled towards one direction.

Pay Attention

Don’t seem distracted – be attentive. Listen carefully and respond accordingly. When you actively listen to the other party, they feel appreciated. Put your phone on silent mode so you don’t need to silence it when it rings.

Picking phones or reading emails in the middle of conversation eliminates all possibilities of achieving a good first impression.

Let Your Personality Shine

It doesn’t matter whom you are interacting with, but no human wants to deal with a robot.

You need to show your personality when interacting with fellow humans. If you don’t show personality, you’ll make people tensed and they may not wish to meet you for a second time.

Although it is important to prepare for your meeting to know what to say, you shouldn’t go overboard with the preparations.

Your presentation shouldn’t sound memorized. Avoid phrases or exclamations that make you sound clueless of unsure about what you’ve been asked. Such phrases and exclamations will only show that you didn’t prep well for the meeting.

Golden Rule on Making a Good First Impression

If the person you’re going to meet is in an office setup, be polite and friendly to everyone you meet on your way to and from the office, from the janitors to the receptionist to the person serving you coffee. This will go a long way in making a good first impression.

This way, everyone in that office will have a positive first impression of you. If you’re making a sales call or a prospective employee, make sure to establish a rapport with the person assistant of the decision maker.

Some employers ask for opinion from their personal assistants and any negative report from them will affect your chance of receiving a good first impression.

Please feel free to get in touch with us if you need expert help to turn presentations into experiences. We’ll provide you with a free quote within the next 48 hours.

In addition, we can provide you with for more tips and tricks on creating an appeal or presentation that will make a good first impression.