When the first impression is also the last impression

Again, something to think about when we meet new people. What are our aims? What do we want to get from the meeting? And most important: What first impression do we want to leave?

How long does it take for people to make a first impression? Some people think that they have weeks or even years to make a first impression, but unfortunately the facts show that the maximum time is four minutes.

Although four minutes seem far too short to draw a lasting conclusion about the person, some experts are even of the opinion that the first impression is made within the first 120 seconds!

So now you know that the first impression is made within two to four minutes of meeting, what do you do to leave the best first impression?

A first impression is made up of three aspects:

  1. What you say
  2. How you say it
  3. How you come across

What you say is important. It's best to use a prepared speech (or elevator pitch), which will be accurate and stimulate interest for more information in two sentences. You will know that your elevator speech is correct because when it is well-practiced and presented, people will start to ask you more information. You've won! And you can start giving away your business cards to everyone who asks!

You can also imagine your elevator pitch as a speech that you make at the front door after ringing the doorbell. Say who you are, what you do and what the person you are speaking to stands to gain. If he lets you in, you can be sure that he will want more information and you'll have got yourself into a discussion. If not, then try to rework your pitch.

The next aspect is how you say it. Do you speak loud enough? Do you articulate clearly so your words are understandable? It's also a good idea to introduce yourself clearly, comprehensive and out loud.

You want people to remember you. A clear introduction really makes a difference.

It's been proven that the biggest fear people have is public speaking; it's greater than the fear of death. But when doing businesses, it is important to talk and present oneself in front of other people. Practice introducing yourself loud and clear to anyone you meet. The secret is that of others cannot hear you, they will not ask you to repeat yourself again and again; simply because they don't want to appear "deaf" to other people.

Another aspect of your first impression is how you feel. What emotional state are you in? Others can recognize this very easily. You must be familiar with situations where you are not in the mood to talk with anyone and you see that nobody is even trying to talk to you. Your own feelings are transferred onto others.

So what first impression do you want to make on others?

Is it the impression of a self-confident, happy, and successful professional?

Remember it takes a second to create a first impression, but years to change it. 

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