Have you heard the saying how you get one chance to make a great first impression? This saying is undoubtedly true when it comes to public speaking and delivering your presentations.
Let me ask you a question.
When does a speech actually start?
Think about it for a moment as this isn't a trick question.
Does it start as you begin speaking?
Maybe while you’re being introduced?
How about as you’re walking to the speaking area?
Each of these points will have an impact on the impression you make on everyone who's attending and listening to you.
That's the purpose of your presentation - to leave a significant impression on those who heard your speech.
The impression you create starts long before you start speaking.
Your speech starts at the very moment you're visible to those attending the meeting.
Recently I was reading some research which showed a candidate’s chances of success when attending a job interview can be affected by the first 12 words they say.
The study (Rodionova, 2016) found interviewers will judge candidates by the quality of their small talk as they are walking to the room in which the interview is being held.
In the same way, interviewers are judging candidates before the formal interview has started, meeting attendees are judging you and forming an impression before you're due to speak.
Let's imagine you're giving a presentation at the offices of a prospective client.
As the client arrives in the lobby to meet you, she sees you being rude to the receptionist. The impression you created will stay in her mind the whole time and will probably be a more prominent memory than your presentation.
You're creating an impression in people's minds from the moment they see you, so make it a favourable one.
About the Author
Andy O'Sullivan is an international bestselling author of 5 books on public speaking, pitching and presenting. Andy is a speaker and educator on the subject of how to survive and thrive in the business world with effective public speaking, pitching and presentation skills.
To lose your public speaking fears and discover time-tested tips to your presentation success, simply book your free session with Andy HERE