Dr. Carol Parker Walsh TV Appearance on AM Northwest

The Power of First Impressions

By Carol

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First Impressions

Are you a speaker (or striving to be on stage)? An entrepreneur that wants attract more clients? A professional that needs to up your executive presence? Then you’ll want to pay attention.

It only takes a 1/10th of a second to make an impression. That’s less than a second. In that short amount of time you have plenty of time to get it wrong. And once you get it wrong, it can take, in some cases, a lifetime to correct it. 

According to Demarais and White (2004), a first impression is a “retained remembrance” or lasting sense of someone or something (pg. 2). So how you manage that 1/10th of a second sticks in the mind, and even psyche, of those around you. Your first impression can often be the only time you’re able to communicate who you really are. This makes that first contact crucial. As a result, you have to be aware of how others perceive you and the message you’re communicating about yourself to others.

Your first impression can create opportunities or close the door on opportunities. The following four fundamentals are key to making the right impression.

Four Fundamentals of Your First Impression

Image – Appearances matter in first impressions. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. What you wear is your first line of communication and sets the stage for future interactions.  What you wear should reflect how you are authentically. When you know how to dress your best self you’ll be comfortable and confident and make your desired impression.

Behavior – Can you draw people in with your behaviors? It’s important to be genuinely interested and present in all interactions.  Depending upon your behavior you’ll subtly send signals that you’re closed off or the person you’re communicating with isn’t worth your time. 

Communication – Seven percent of our communication involves our words; however, the bulk of our communication is non-verbal. Our bodies and our words reveal our interest. Be sure to make eye contact, use the person’s name in conversation, ask questions, don’t dominate the conversation or get to personal to quickly. Actively listen and allow for a give and take in the conversation.

Presence – Consider your physical space and energy. Don’t crowd or dominate other’s physical space or come across with either an arrogant (always sharing how fabulous you are or your successes) or insecure energy (trying to compete in the conversation or “one up” the other person). Create a lighthearted and positive space of engagement. 

Side Note

These tips are for interacting with others in the United States. If you’re working on a global or international stage you’ll need to be aware of any cultural norms and practices with regard to communication. An understanding of international business etiquette will be extremely useful to ensure you’re first impressions are positive world wide.

Watch My Segment on AM Northwest

I share more details and examples about these points on my latest tv segment on AM Northwest. You can click here and watch it now.

Live, laugh, shine!

Carol 😉

P.S., If you’re not sure about the impression you’re making or if you’re coming off confident, credible, polished, and authentic, schedule a free Virtual Impact Strategy Session with me TODAY.

Demarais, Ann & White, Valerie (2004). First Impressions. Bantam Dell, NY

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About The Carol

I'm a 50 years young curvy fashionista enjoying my "second life." I'm a wife, mom of 3 and 1 goldendoodle. I'm a recovering attorney, accidental professor, successful jewelry stylist, and ...