How To Make A Good First Impression – In Person Or On Video
In the first seven seconds of meeting someone new, someone will have already gotten a first impression and made a snap judgement as to what kind of person they perceive you are. There is research to even suggest that certain traits around trust and honesty could take as little as half a second to be decided.
| author: Scott Taylor
A study from 2009 at Berkeley University analysed personality judgments based on physical appearance – finding that clothing and posture choice plays a very important role in the first opinion someone may make of you – not to mention your choice of handshake.
Most of us however are familiar with the standard practices to give off the best impression to someone we’re meeting for the first time, but it is important to consider that other factors play a part in this as well particularly if meeting over video for example.
Professor Cuddy conducted research around poses and posture to identify how employers perceived candidates in particular poses. She found that a ‘power pose’ conveyed more confidence, increased the testosterone levels in the individual posing and decreased levels of cortisol in the brain. These changes have a positive effect on assertiveness, how relaxed the individual felt, their confidence and tolerance to risk.
If you’re able to prepare for the interaction you’re about to have, such as a job interview, ensure you do what you can to be well versed in topics and questions you may be asked. If your first impression is not planned then trying to improve your personal sleep routine, general cleanliness or improving your demeanor can positively affect someone’s opinion of you.
If in conversation with someone you’ve met for the first time, it’s easy to become anxious and concerned about making a good impression that you forget to listen to the person speaking to you. Try not to think ahead or worry too much about previous moments speaking – be present in the moment and listen to the questions and comments to enable you to be better equipped to respond yourself. Conversation will flow more smoothly and you will inevitably relax, creating a better first impression.
Maintaining eye contact when speaking with another person has immediate benefits if you’re able to do so. According to a study on the effects of eye contact in conversation from the University of Massachusetts, it was found that eye contact during a job interview is hugely important for the candidate if they wish to present themselves as confident, knowledgeable and a good team player.
Tone Of Voice
How you speak and what tone you choose to use depending on the type of interaction you are having is vital.
Phil McAleer, psychologist at the University of Glasgow conducted a study around the first impression of students simply saying ‘hello’. In the incredibly short moment that students heard the individual speaking, they were able to be decisive in defining 10 personality traits such as trustworthiness, attractiveness, dominance, kindness etc.
Additionally, McAleer found that when Men raised the tone of their voices they would be rated as more trustworthy. Lower pitched male voices were typically perceived as dominant but the opposite was true in women. Females with higher than average pitches were considered more dominant by the students.
Taking the time to consider how you’re speaking and how it may be being received can play a huge role in someone’s first impression of you.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your first impressions over video or in person, it’s important to try not to worry too much. Anxiety and worry distracts us from making our usual decisions and conversing in a relaxed manner. Try to take a deep breath, listen, make eye contact, sit confidently and don’t forget to smile at least once!
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