New Year's Resolution: Don't Make a Bad First Impression

by Ken Okel - Date: 2006-12-29 - Word Count: 541 Share This!

Conducting a TV interview is a bit like a blind date with a microphone. In many cases, you’ve never met or spoken to the person prior to your interview. Your goal is to get the best soundbites possible, whether you agree with the person’s views or not. It’s critical to build an immediate sense of trust and rapport.

This can be a challenge in today’s fast-paced world but it’s a skill that can change your life. Researchers have found that people tend to make judgments about one another during the first 10 seconds of meeting someone new. Isn’t it in your best interest to make sure you’re remembered well? And wouldn’t you like to be one of those people who others have a good feeling about, even if they can’t be sure why they feel that way? It’s a skill that can serve you well on the job, on a date, or in a sales situation.

Here are some quick tips for making yourself memorable in the New Year:

Enthusiasm is contagious

Have you ever met anyone who didn’t like feeling they were the most important person in the room? Imagine how you would act if you were meeting your favorite movie star. Take that enthusiasm and focus it on your subject. There’s a good chance the other person will pick up your energy and bounce it back at you.

Focus, focus, and focus some more

When you’re talking to someone new, just focus on he or she. Good eye contact is priceless and a wandering eye tells someone that you’re not interested. Even if someone is dull, give him or her your total focus. At worst, you’ll impress a dull person and you never know how that could help you at a later time. Of course, you can widen your focus if your subject is standing next to a spouse or a friend. In those cases you don’t want to freeze anyone out of a discussion.

Nothing good comes from bad breath

Have you ever been uncomfortably close to someone who has bad breath? Did that change your opinion of the person? Keep some mints on hand because you never know whom you might meet. I’ve never heard a complaint about someone’s breath smelling too clean!

Give yourself a hand

In our culture, when you meet someone you shake hands. Before shaking, make sure that your hand is not sweaty. A quick pre-shake wipe can get rid of any nervous moisture. Just do it discreetly. Give a firm grasp but don’t try to crush the other person’s paw. I’d advise against a two handed shake on the first meeting as it may make you appear overeager.

Resist the urge to dance but move a little

When talking to someone, you may want to move in a little closer. This is a subtle move and you don’t want to make the other person think that you’re invading their body space. But if done correctly, a move or a lean will show interest.

Assume nothing

Misunderstandings can be costly. Just because someone is standing next to the receptionist’s desk doesn’t mean they’re the receptionist. That person could be the CEO. It’s so much better to introduce yourself first and wait for the other person to fill in the blanks. This is something that happens naturally.

Related Tags: stress, success, first, eye, focus, nervous, memorable, contact, impression, handshake

Ken Okel is a communications expert who uses his real life broadcasting experiences to help successful organizations communicate better, reduce stress, and laugh a lot more. Contact Ken Okel at (561) 737-4321 or email to find out more about his presentations, reserve your program date, or find out more.

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