7 secondsThere’s no second chance to make a first impression. Be intentional about the message, and image, you want to portray in every interaction you have.

Opportunity Is Everywhere

I recently facilitated a workshop for 20 lawyers. As each of the participants filtered into the room, I stood at the front saying “Hello, welcome” to every one of them as they came through the door and watched as almost every one of them without exception, skulked into the conference room, eyes down, body language closed, and sat as far away from the next person as they could.

I opened the training by telling them I thought I was actually in the wrong place and should leave, right away. They were confused.

I told them that as far as I was aware, I was there to facilitate a training on “How To Build Career Success Through Networking”, yet virtually no-one in the room had many attempt to introduce themselves to me, nor, more importantly, anyone else! Surely that meant I was in the wrong place, given we were all here to talk and learn about networking…

Starting Strong

We subconsciously make up our mind on what we think of a person within the first 7 seconds of meeting them. We judge whether they are likeable, trustworthy, competent, influential, etc.

It’s therefore crucial for your career progression that you create a compelling first impression in business interactions. That’s much easier to do than to have to remedy a negative impression down the track.

Here are tips on how to make the first 7 seconds count:

  • Head up, shoulders back, smile, strong handshake. Body language is more important than anything. Look strong and be strong.
  • Focus as much on how you say something as what you say. Your tone, timbre and tempo are key to sending the right message.
  • Have a short “pitch” on who you are and how you add value ready to go for every situation.
  • Use people’s names. It will help you remember them, and make them feel valued and noticed.
  • Understand what outcome you want from the meeting, and focus on that outcome as you drive the conversation.

Every meeting, networking event, and social situation provides the opportunity to connect. And connecting opens doors. Make sure that in the first 7 seconds you make yourself worth remembering.


PS If you want more insight like this on how to build the influence you have in your career, join me LIVE in SYDNEY for a workshop on 24 March. Click here to register.

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