Ever feel like you have two left feet especially when it comes to making a great first impression? I sure did the other day when I discovered I put the left shoe of two different shoes in my bag. What would you do? I thought of two possible options: present in the tennis shoes I drove in or hunt quickly for a shoe store and buy the quickest pair I could find.
In the Ask Outrageously Study, 25% of people said they feel more confident when they are dressed the part. However, your initial impression goes beyond how stylishly you’re dressed, how good your hair looks, or even if your shoes match.
First impressions are made in 30 seconds or less. Spend more than 30 seconds getting ready for them.
When you meet a stranger, what would be his or her impression of you? Do you portray confidence, trust and approachability? An approachable person:
Smiles and makes eye contact.
Has a firm handshake and is polite.
Helps others feel comfortable and heard.
Develops an engaging presentation style.
Consciously uses positive body language.
User proper grammar, spelling and language.
Responds in a timely manner to emails, phone calls and other communication.
Strategies that will help you develop more confidence include:
Pretend you are hosting, rather than attending, your next party or event. Think about the actions a host takes to make others feel welcome. For example, a host asks people about their work or hobbies. A host connects people with introductions and shares common interests. Ask yourself:
- How is your eye contact?
- Are you responding appropriately and smiling?
- How is your handshake? Does it feel like a wet dishrag? You want a firm grasp without delivering a crushing grip.
- Are you really listening to what people are saying? People know when you are not listening to them.
When making presentations remind yourself that the information you are presenting is extremely important. Stop worrying if you look like a runway model or sound like a vocal artist. Focus on making sure your audience fully grasps the messages they need.
Use manners. The research shows 1/3 of people will deny your request if you are inconsiderate or impolite.
So what was the answer to the “two left feet dilemma.” Like negotiations, many times an unexpected solution appears. For instance, you may be able to wear the pair of shoes you accidentally LEFT in the car the day before.
Journey On and Ask Outrageously!