My first blog will start with first things first, and that is First Impressions Matter!

Visual First ImpressionsStudies show that ‘first’ impressions of you are crucial to how you are perceived – which in turn is critical to your speaking success.


Whether you’re in the corporate world seeking a new opportunity, a business owner explaining what you offer or a start-up in the search for funding,  we’ve had it drilled into us that a great “30 second” elevator pitch is a must have.


However, recent studies show that attention spans are now only 6-7 seconds! That means even 30 seconds can be too long to convey your message!


Even more impactful to getting your message across quickly, a study in the Association of Psychological Science that people make up their minds about you in 1/10 of a second! The participants in this study were flashed pictures of people’s faces, and opinions of their trustworthiness were created instantly.


The first seconds are so critical to forming positive first impressions – make them count!


What can you do to create great first impressions in the blink of an eye? Smile!


That one small thing will create a sense of trust and put the people you’re giving a speech to or meeting for the first time at a networking event at ease.


There are many reasons why this works so quickly, but I’ll just mention a few here.


One is that you appear confident and relaxed – and successful. When you show those traits, it makes it easier for people to feel you know what you’re talking about. People want to work with someone they feel is an expert!


Another is smiling actually helps change your mood! I like to update the old adage of “fake it till you make it” to “fake it till you become it”! If public speaking, networking or interviewing for a higher position stresses you out, putting on a smile will do wonders for your own outlook and will help calm your nerves!


Speaking of stress, smiling has been shown to actually reduce your heart rate – which is a common symptom when you are nervous.


And finally, smiling is contagious! It’s natural to want to hang out with people who look happy and that seem to be enjoying what they do. Happy people brighten up the room, bring joy to others and make the world a better place. Who doesn’t want that?!