Want To Make A Personal Impact? A simple Technique To Show You How
Whether you’re at work or meeting someone socially, creating a strong personal impact is vital if you want to come across confidently. If the first impression you give is one of confidence, you’ll have an immediate advantage. You’re already one step ahead. A poor first impression, however, can have lasting damage and you’ll certainly have to work twice as hard if you want to change how people view you.
It can be a daunting and scary thought introducing yourself to someone new. You may be feeling nervous and shy inside. If you can’t control these feelings they can seriously affect the first impressions you give.
I met a lady called Anna on one of my self-confidence courses. ‘Apologetic’ is how Anna came across to me when I first met her – even before she’d introduced herself.
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What was it about Anna that made me think she was apologetic, even before she’d started talking?
There was something about her that made her look as though she doubted herself. It was as though she was waiting for permission to be there. She just didn’t look comfortable and seemed to have an air of shyness about her too.
I perceived all this in the few seconds it took her to walk in and sit down.
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Anna was naturally a shy person. She dreaded the thought of anything ‘new’ or any situation where she felt uncomfortable or out of her comfort zone. The way she coped with this was to try to blot it out. She’d do her best to forget about it until it happened. That way she’d stop herself worrying about it. This was her strategy for dealing with it.
To make a positive personal impact Anna needed to control how she was feeling on the inside. I showed her a simple technique which would help her feel more in control when she met new people. Once she had mastered this it would be possible to use some simple body language techniques to create a positive personal impact and look confident on the outside.
The first step for Anna was to curb her worrying. Rather than block out the situation she needed to try and force herself to think about it. I mean actually imagine herself there in the situation. It’s a very simple technique called ‘visualisation’.
It could be a work event (meetings, presentations, interviews, networking …) or any kind of social situation (a date, a party, joining a club) …. Anywhere that you want to make a really positive personal impact.
Visualise yourself in the situation. Then think about how you want to look and sound. Think about how you would like people to perceive you. In other words visualise how you want to come across in that specific situation.
By doing this you are mentally preparing yourself for the actual event.
Once you are mentally aware of how you want to look and sound it will be easy to make subtle changes to your body language.
When you are visualising yourself in a situation, concentrate on:
- Posture – Walk into the room with your shoulders back and chin up. Stand tall. Walk calmly and slowly.
- Facial expressions – Consciously smile. This will create a warmth about you and people will want to talk to you.
- Take the initiative – Try and introduce yourself to people before they make the first move.
- Voice – Don’t speak too quietly. Use intonation in your tone.
- Remember names – Use their name during the conversation to show you are listening, interested and aware.
- Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact while the person is talking to you.
- Get involved – Force yourself to mix with people although it may be against your nature.
Visualise yourself doing all of these things next time you find yourself in a situation where you are meeting new people. Preparing yourself mentally will make a huge difference to your confidence levels.
The result? You’ll notice that people involve you more. People will see you differently. You will feel different too. You’ll find yourself breaking some bad habits and taking on some good ones.
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