HOW TO MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION
by J.A. Gamache Third place Champion at the 2001 Toastmasters
International World Championship of Public Speaking
Your walk, posture and facial expressions convey non-verbal
messages about your state of mind. Decide to send the right
messages so you can make a good first impression whenever you
speak in public.
As you walk to the podium, the audience receives many
non-verbal cues before you’ve even said a word. Their first
impression of you is based on that information.
First impressions are important because the audience won’t
find your message credible unless they feel that you’re in
control. If you don’t project self-confidence, they will find
it hard to trust you. Unwittingly, you might be raising
doubts in their minds.
Is it a disaster to fail at making a good first impression?
No. You’ll always be able to catch up. However, you’ll have
to work harder to reassure the audience that in spite of
appearances, you are a trustworthy source of information.
Here are some tips on how to make an entrance that conveys
the impression that you’re in control.
Look at self-confident people–they have a strong, rapid
stride. Decide to send the same message. When your name is
announced, walk as though you’re saying, “I am confident,”
even though you feel like running away!
Stand straight and adopt a solid stance. Open your torso to
ease your breathing. This posture sends the message that
you’re calm even though you’re shaking with fear!
3- FACIAL EXPRESSION
Put a smile on your face! When you walk to the podium, hold
your head high. Before you speak, take a deep breath. It’ll
calm you down. Don’t speak right away! Take time to look at
the audience. This silent pause sends the message, “I am
happy to be here!” even though you may be wondering what on
earth you’ve gotten yourself into.
Practice your entrance at home. Pay attention to the way you
walk, your posture, and your facial expressions, and you’ll
make a good first impression every time.
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