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We’ve been taught that first impressions really count.
Do a firm handshake.
Look the person in the eyes.
Give a big smile.
But here’s where we often go wrong:
We forget that first impressions are still at play when we talk to an audience of more than one.
We obviously can’t shake everyone’s hands or look into the eyes of every single person in the audience.
And what about all the people who will watch your podcast interview or video – how can you make a great first impression with people you can’t even see?
I got you.
Here’s your actionable speaking tip to make a first impression they won’t forget:
Master your first impression in 5 easy steps:
🔥 Start the work before you need to be on camera or on stage.
Get in the zone. Turn your energy up. Prepare yourself to be active, engaged and a slightly amplified version of yourself.
🔥 Take a second to breathe and take control.
This works whether you’re on camera or in front of a live audience. Take a second to get settled in, gather your thoughts, calm the nerves.
🔥 Always start with an inviting smile.
The only time this doesn’t apply is when you’re delivering bad news. All other times – turn up that charm with your lovely smile.
🔥 Make your first sentence about them.
Just like you’d start a 1:1 conversation by asking how the other person’s doing, start your talk, presentation or video by stating what the audience will get out of listening to you.
🔥 Signal to the audience that you’re invested in them.
There are subtle ways of letting the audience know at the outset that you care about how they receive the information you’re delivering.
These signals include:
Scanning the room with your eyes, taking a pause after the first sentence to let the audience react and having an open, inviting body language that lets the audience feel closer to you.
Master the first impression. You’ll do your future self a favor by making sure each time you speak to an audience, you get their attention from the very first second.
Here are two gentlemen who make awesome first impressions: Tim Wenzel, ex-Meta/Facebook and Lee Oughton, co-founders at The Kindness Games. In the first Speak as a Leadertwo-guest episode, we talk about the 30+ years of experience that both these gentleman have on stage and leading their teams with kindness. No holds barred.
Till we meet again, speak fearlessly!