Tips on how to master first impressions and make that moment count

| Tuesday May 12

Small Biz Matters – a half hour program each week where you can work ON your business rather than IN it.
with Alexi Boyd, broadcaster, advocate and small business owner.
Date: 12 May 2020

Whether it’s face to face or digital, first impressions matter. There are a multitude of times in our professional lives (or personal for that matter) where we can be judged in an instant. It’s not mean; it's just human nature. Interviews, pitching, networking, speaking, meeting and bumping into other colleagues means at any point in time you need to be in control of your image before the beholder does it for you.

So how do you want to be remembered after the first impression presents itself? What can you do to ensure that you come across exactly as intended? Your dress, your presentation, your voice… it all adds up.

And all those same rules apply in this weird digital world in which we operate as professionals right now.

Jennifer Austin is an image expert on visual presentation and first impression management. In her role asis image consultant, coach, trainer, lecturer and speaker she regularly helps individuals and businesses to make the most of that first impression moment, whether its online or in person.

Welcome to the show Jennifer.

Topics we’ll be covering:

What are some of the first impressions which matter to business - it’s basically what people will see first so let’s talk about that. It’s about trust, credibility - it’s irrational but it’s the reality.

  • Style & dress - it’s not just about wearing brands it’s about clothing being a


    • Suitable for the audience - think about this first
    • Dressing for your age
    • The elephant in the room - the reality is we ARE being judged. Don’t wear distracting clothing
  • Grooming (hair, makeup, nails), colours, makeup matter!
  • Posture emulates confidence and competence
    • Body language (posture & handshake) - that is a big first impressions - Broadly your small business journey and what led you to start your own business
    • Eye contact!!

How long does it take to undo the damage a bad impressions can make?

good news , think of it like this , having a strong first impression is like a shortcut to success. Because a great first impression will make it easier to build rapport, pitch yourself, make a personal effective connections. And all you have to do is master those first 20 seconds. if you master the first 20 seconds of any interaction, it makes the next 20 mins easier without the first impression you have to work way harder to make a lasting impact.

  • Thin Slicing Methodology - explain in terms of judgement
  • 7 meetings theory and next time prepare
    • We are our harshest judge - use that to analyse

Why is body language so important?

Basen on research by

  • Know your audience & how formal you’ve got to be
    • Eye contact
    • Posture
    • Handshaking
    • Facial expression

Organising your wardrobe depending on the event your attending

  • Business meeting - Research the person you’re meeting, go up a notch
  • Networking - don’t blend in! How can you stand out? Have a statement piece (what’s that?)
    • What’s the best opener you suggest to those who are nervous about people’s perception
  • Presentations - what about the stage?
    • It’s about credibility
    • Fine line between looking feminine and too corporate
    • Avoid prints because they can overpower the face.
  • Pitching - is that the same as presentations, know what industry / sector you’re talking to
  • Male vs female - how do you talk to the male clients?