Leaving a powerful impression is one of the most underrated yet impactful abilities in this world. People will judge you within the first few seconds that you meet.
Here are 6 ways to leave a powerful first impression.
1- Negativity Harms You, Maintain a Positive Belief.
When someone speaks negatively, even if it has nothing to do with themselves and/or the topic, the negative energy of the conversation is subconsciously associated with the speaker. Therefore, anytime you speak negatively, it will leave a negative impression on yourself. Alternatively, when you speak in a positive manner, it brightens the conversation and causes a rush of positive chemicals (oxytocin and dopamine) into people’s bodies. As such your image will be associated with happiness and positivity.
In order to leave a powerful impression focus on keeping a positive belief, even if the conversation is around a negative subject, you are still able to handle it in a positive manner. There was once two twins who experienced the same difficult situation in life (single mom, poverty, racism etc.) yet one of the twin became extremely successful while the other struggled in life. When asked, both of the twins actually gave the same answer. They both said "Of course I am successful ( or un-successful) look at the situation I was presented with". One of the twins saw his experiences as a step, while the other saw it as a wall.
In life, it doesn't matter what happens to us; its all about how we interpret what happens to us.
If you want to leave a powerful impression, maintain a positive belief system.
2) Be Aware of Your Body Language and Your Attire.
You don't need to spend $1,000 dollars on a J.P. Tilford suit, however if you wear a wrinkled, coffee stained dress shirt, then your broadcasting a message that you don't have a sense of professionalism. If you don't tuck in your dress shirt at work, people may not say anything to your face, however the image that you are associated with may deter you from being seen as a manager or high level decision maker. If you are making a sales presentation and focus on the superior quality, yet your shoes are completely covered in dirt, your not clean shaven, then your image would not reflect your product. If you want to be seen as a professional, executive level, or business owner that owns a quality product, your attire should reflect that.
"Your body language accounts for 55% of the overall message" - (Debenham, L., 2016).
When your speaking with someone, make sure that you are broadcasting confidence. Keep your hands in front of you, or speak using your hands. When you cross your arms, you are presenting yourself in a negative manner. When your standing, stand up tall, push out your chest and be confident in yourself.
3) Be present in the conversation.
Does the following ever happen to you?
Mid conversation as you are talking to someone, you start thinking about something else and blank out and ignore what the other person is saying. I know I do it. When you are networking for work, or trying to leave a powerful impression actively stay focused on the conversation at hand. In addition, don't be afraid to ask for questions if there isn't something that you don't understand. The absolute worst thing that can happen is if the other person says something that he/she knows you don't understand, yet you pretend like you do, then the other person will at best question your authenticity and at worst question your intelligence.
4) Provide Sincere Appreciation.
Everyone feels good when they get complimented!
Do not be afraid to give out a few compliments! However, do not overdo it. You must give sincere praise that you mean. Don’t go to someone and say wow I like your shoelaces!, Wow you're awesome! and WOW! your cup is so beautiful.
Those are empty gestures that will prevent you from establishing a powerful relationship.
However, lets say you have a conversation and you find out that they are working in this field because they won an award for building something when they were in school. At this point, this would be a great time to show appreciation and say wow that’s absolutely amazing, and try to relate it to yourself if possible.
By providing appreciation, you bring the focus onto the other person and make them feel good about themselves.
5) Become genuinely interested in the other Person.
When you speak to someone else, ask questions that explore deeper into the other persons history. When networking with a group of people don't be like everyone in the room and make the conversation "basic" with the usual "Hi how are you doing" or "What do you do?" or "What company are you with?"
Ask questions that have "how" or "why" as a starter. For example, "why did you become an engineer?" or "Why did you get into engineering" or "What do you think will be a game changer".
These type of questions will help build a stronger relationship with the individual and leave a powerful impression with them.
6) Talk about Your passions.
When you meet someone, a lot of the time the conversation can be very shallow. As discussed in item 5, its important to go deeper into the conversation to learn more about the other person. Now, it will be your turn to talk about what drives you. Don't be shy at this point, talk about what gets you going. Talk about your passions; its so important to talk about what gets your system going.
When you talk about something you enjoy, your entire body will light up and you will naturally exude a confidence that will leave a powerful impression. In addition, if your into something interesting, it may actually leave a powerful impression in itself.
For example, I am a fighter and train muay thai competitively, when I talk to people about that it leaves such a powerful impression. In fact when I was working as the technical specialist of engineer at ITW Construction products, most of my associates from other companies remembered me because of muay thai. Out of the thousands of people that these associates meets, it always amazed me that because I told them I trained and fought competitively, they remembered me for months.
Debenham, L. (n.d.). Communication- what percentage is body language. Retrieved May 7, 2016, from http://www.bodylanguageexpert.co.uk/communication-what-percentage-body-language.html
Michael Rao is a key contributor at Driven Fighters. He is passionate about the fighters mentality and motivating other people. He has associated walking into the boxing gym as the day his life changed. His story shows that with hard work anything is possible. Having taken himself from being labeled by his high school teachers as a failure and almost dropping out to opening numerous businesses and graduating with his Master Degree in Engineering (University of Toronto). At just 18 years old, he was featured on CH News, and awarded the Young Entrepreneur Award. His passion and desire to help others made him a perfect example of what a driven fighter is. He has 20+ fights including a national amateur tournament belt.