The society we live in is a constantly changing, fast moving environment where everyone is bombarded by information and people who want attention. This means that you have a very small amount of time to obtain someone’s attention and that the first impression is the one making the difference between being ignored and receiving the attention wanted.
While most people acknowledge this, they do very little to start things in the best possible way. You will see below a few examples on how you can improve your first impression and make a better start.
When introducing yourself to someone new forget about your normal introduction where you say your name, what position you occupy, and where you work. Change it to a story, it be it about something you do, are doing or want to do. Stories relate to people on an emotional basis and since we tend to make rational choices based on our feelings your chance of getting attention this way will increase.
Imagine that you are in an elevator going from the 10th floor down with a person you would really want to make and have a connection with, a person you admire, a client you would like to have, a girl you like. Now imagine what you would say if that were the only interaction you had. This is what you should start with next time.
The audience at any conference or public speaking event will decide in the first 10-20 seconds if they are going to pay attention to the rest of the speech or just ignore it. This is why, if you want to have people pay attention and follow you during all your talk, you have to start with something impressing, interesting, out of the ordinary but at the same time something that people can emotionally relate to.
Twitter allows only 140 characters per message. Think how you would communicate if you had this limit in every conversation you have. Consider what the keywords you would use would be to get your message across and get noticed.
Keep it short, simple, to the point but don’t forget about emotional engagement.