Gary Michael speaking at the Tattered Cover on the release of his book, Journey from Little Left.

Make a Fantastic First Impression
By Gary Michael
For better or for worse, people form their impressions of one another in the first few minutes of interaction. Here are four tips for making a fantastic first impression:

  • Be energized. People respond to your energy level because it shows you’re interested in them — and it’s contagious. Stand up straight, smile, and use the person’s name a few times.
  • Maintain eye contact, a sure way to demonstrate presence. Looking at people when you’re talking and when they are is your best tool for creating connection.
  • Stay on subject while conversing. Ask follow up question, like “How’d that make you feel?” and “What did you do then?” Rapid fire changes of subject makes you seem bored with whatever the person you’re talking to just told you. Jumping from “Where are you from?” to “What do you do?” to “Come here often?” is a loser routine.
  • Think of a better way to answer the “What do you do?” question than with a job description. For example, an accountant might say, “I keep as much of your money as is legally possible in your pocket instead of the fed’s.” A teacher could say, “I teach your kids to read and write so they can become productive, successful adults.”

Make getting acquainted FUN. It will bring you more friends, customers, and good vibes.
Gary Michael, the “Talk Doc” consults and trains in public speaking and communication. At Colorado Free University he regularly teaches Have Them at Hello: making a Million Dollar First Impression and Get in Bed with Your Audience: Speak Like a Pro or Maybe Become One. See Gary’s classes here.