Wednesday, March 26, 2008

First Impressions

How much money do you think is spent managing the impressions of the US presidential candidates?

People judge our competence, our reliability, our product, our company - even our entire industry - based on how we present ourselves. Major decisions are made and careers advanced (or slowed) based on first impressions.

Here are some of the components of impression management:

• Eye contact connotes trust, interest.
• Facial expressions convey enthusiasm and seriousness.
• Movement and posture convey confidence.
• Touch and handshaking give a feeling of openness.
• Appearance and clothing show professionalism.
• Personal space impacts audience comfort.
• Voice qualities convey confidence.

First impressions are not drawn from content or subject matter expertise. First impressions are made when the presenter has the highest level of adrenaline – the first two minutes (or less)!

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