Do you remember your first date and how you made sure you wore your favorite designer dress, fragrance, lipsticks and hairdo just to give that perfect and charming impression?
And for the gentlemen, I’m sure you quite remember how you combed the internet looking for 10 dazzling things you must do on your first date and how religiously you followed all the 10 steps? How you wore your gentleman’s attire, kept to time and played on your best behaviour? All in the bid to give a wow impression. XD
Yes, that’s how important first impressions are. Whatever the case, it is incredible to know that it takes only 7 seconds to make a judgement about a person when first meeting them. As a result, first impressions are really huge impressions whether in business or personal life. So, how exactly do we define the word impression? According to Oxford Dictionary, an impression is an idea, feeling or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence. This goes to show that in one way or the other, we all are constantly sending out ideas, feelings and opinions about ourselves to others, knowingly or unknowingly.
“First impressions are really huge impressions whether in business or personal life.” – Sonnie Amadi
Hence, a first impression is the opinion someone forms about you at any given opportunity; at a first glance, a first meeting or a first encounter. This could be face to face, online, offline, over the phone and so on. In most cases, we do this by our words, tone of voice and body language. According to Albert Mehrabian, the Professor Emeritus of Psychology, UCLA, there are basically three elements in any face to face communication:
- Verbal (words) – 7%
- Vocal (tone of voice e.g. pitch, volume, speed) – 38%
- Visual (body language e.g. eye contact, gesture, smile) – 55%
Therefore, every opportunity to make a great impression should be taken seriously because you may never have the opportunity to make a second impression and more so, first impressions stick longer than you can ever think or imagine!
The summary is simple: Always put your best foot forward at every given opportunity, it pays a lot!