You Can’t Fake Real: Seven Ways to Be Yourself in the Critical First Seven Seconds

“My own self, at my very best, all the time.”
— American Youth Foundation pledge

Nancy MarshallWhen a person first meets you, it takes seven seconds for them to determine whether they are going to like you or not, whether they want to work with you or not, or whether they want to be your friend or not. We are wired in our prehistoric brains to decide whether another person is actually a friend or a foe.

So if you are trying to make a good first impression, why not present yourself as the best version of yourself?

Here are my seven tips for those critical first seven seconds:

  1. Stand up straight: there’s nothing like good posture to announce that you are confident, ready to work, and comfortable with yourself.
  2. Smile: a smile is the most inviting facial expression. There is nothing more inviting to another person than a smiling face.
  3. Look the person you are meeting in the eyes, with an expression that says, “I care who you are, and I want to learn more about you.”
  4. Lean in toward the other person just a bit, to indicate you are eager to be their friend.
  5. Give a firm handshake, but not too firm. Do not attempt to break their hand, but also don’t grasp their hand so limply that you act as if you don’t care.
  6. Speak from your heart. Whatever you say, if you say it with genuine caring in order for a genuine connection, the other person will know that you truly want to connect.
  7. Repeat their name out loud. There is no sweeter word than the sound of a person’s own name, so if you repeat it out loud, they will feel that you have affirmed their existence and you have attempted to remember them.

If you practice these seven gestures in the first seven seconds of meeting the next important person in your life, I guarantee you will make a strong and lasting impression.

Believe me, making impressions and being memorable is a very important step in building your personal brand and expanding your personal network.

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