Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WoW Em Right Away

First impressions are important. During the first seconds of your presentation, your audience is deciding whether to tune you in or take a mental trip to Santa Fe. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!

First impressions are not drawn from content or subject matter expertise. First impressions are formed when the presenter has the highest level of adrenaline – the first several seconds of the presentation!

Get plenty of sleep the night before your presentation. Eat healthy, and avoid a heavy breakfast and lunch on the day of your presentation. If you happen to forget your opening statement, have a relevant question handy, even if it is rhetorical. This places the focus on the audience and allows you to catch your breath and collect your thoughts.

What impacts first impressions?
  • Eye contact builds trust and 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 quality conveys confidence.

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