How to make a good first impression

How to make a good first impression

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. ~ Will Rogers

This popular quote can be also used in public speaking. In fact, when you give a speech in front of an audience, you only have one chance of making a good first impression; so be ready for it! Let’s see some hints that could help you to speak in public effectively.

The speech starts before you walk on stage

To speak in public effectively, it could be helpful to know that your speech starts before you walk on stage. In fact, audience starts looking at you as soon as you leave your seat. It judges you and your message based on what they see. Of course, people in the audience also evaluate what they hear.

Use the concept of empathy

When you speak, the people in your audience tend to mirror your movements and expressions. Your physical behavior has an impact on an audience. It can depend on the concept of empathy, the ability to share in another person’s emotions or experience. In fact, what can usually happen is that people in your audience feel, without thinking, what you feel and respond accordingly.

For this reason it is crucial that your body accurately describes your true feelings. For instance, if you appear relaxed and sure of yourself, your audience will feel the same way. In addition, if you smile at people in the audience, they will perceive you as a friendly person. As a result, they will smile back at you. In fact, if they are convinced that you are authentic and reliable, they will pay attention to you and to what you say.

Keep in mind

The same process can work the opposite way as well. If you appear worried, your audience also will be worried. It is highly probable that if you scowl or frown, your audience will send back to you the same messages. At the same time, if you do not look at them, they will feel excluded. Remember to pay attention to these crucial aspects that can determine your speech success.

Francesco Pecoraro

Francesco has extensive experience as a project, program and portfolio manager, project management officer (PMO), digital transformation and strategic consultant. He is also considered a communication, public speaking and leadership expert.

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