By Guest Contributor Nicole Soames
Author Nicole Soames, explains the basics of how to make a great impression, based on her newest book The Presenting Book.
Given today’s unprecedented levels of uncertainty and change, where everyone is bombarded with a non-stop flow of digital information, the ability to cut thorough the noise and make a memorable impression has never been more important. As you constantly compete for people’s time and attention, how you present yourself to the world and communicate what you can bring to the table, either in person or virtually, is the key to standing out from the crowd.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS REALLY DO COUNT
Like it or not, human beings are hardwired to make snap judgements. The human brain instinctively categorizes people to help us make sense of the world. This unconscious bias can be based on appearance, age, gender, skin colour and social status, to name but a few. You, therefore, need to take active steps to manage this bias by controlling the ‘controllables’– your tone of voice, body language and spoken word – in order to present your unique combination of skills, expertise and personality in the best possible light. After all, as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.
PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Think about someone in your own life who has made a lasting impression on you – it could be a public figure, a friend, a client or a boss. Remember how they make you feel when you are with them.
- Do they inspire trust?
- Are they confident and credible?
- Do you enjoy spending time with them?
Now think about how you can bottle this feeling. This is the gold dust that enables you to differentiate yourself from those around you. Don’t fall into the trap of presuming these people are ‘natural’ presenters or ‘born with’ charisma. It takes hard work and commitment to present the best version of yourself. No one is the finished article. As with learning any new skill, there are practical steps you can take to put your best foot forward and present yourself clearly and confidently.
LOOKING FURTHER THAN THE FIRST IMPRESSION
While it’s crucial to make an impact when you first present yourself to someone, it’s equally important to build credibility and trust overtime by presenting yourself in a consistent manner. If, for example, the first time you meet a customer you go out of your way to make a connection and have a meaningful conversation, but in subsequent meetings you appear distracted and ill-prepared, your credibility is immediately eroded. Inconsistencies in behaviour can undermine trust as the other person will quickly conclude that you are not what you appear.
Bear in mind these wise words from CEO Warren Buffet:
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five min-utes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Throughout the book, we will look at presentation best practice and apply this to the everyday, so that you can learn how to do things differently and present the best version of yourself each and every time you interact with someone
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NICOLE SOAMES is a highly qualified coach and emotional intelligence practitioner. She gained extensive commercial experience during her 12 years managing large sales teams at Unilever andUnited Biscuits, followed by over 15 years developing and deliver-ing training programmes around the world. In 2009, Nicole founded Diadem Performance, a leading commercial skills training and coach-ing company. With over 100 clients across the globe, Diadem has helped many thousands of people become ‘commercial athletes’ in influencing, selling, negotiation, account management, marketing, presenting, strategy, coaching, leadership and management. Nicole is also the author of the bestselling The CoachingBook, The Influence Book and The Negotiation Book, all in the Concise Advice series from LID Business Media.
We often hear the phrase you only get one chance to make a great first impression when, in fact, it s the impressions we make on a daily basis that make a compelling personal brand. In today s increasingly competitive world, the ability to present the best version of yourself in both formal and informal situations is critical to your success.
The Presenting Book is an inspiring and engaging handbook packed with Nicole Soames expert advice, practical tools and exercises. This book will teach you how to become a highly skilled presenter in all areas of your life whether you re presenting a sales report to the board, promoting your personal brand online, networking at an event or being the keynote speaker at a conference. You ll learn how to develop your emotional intelligence, capture and hold peoples attention and deliver your performance with confidence.
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