When you are preparing for a presentation, what do you want to achieve?
You’ll want to do far more than deliver an ordinary presentation. You’ll want to win influence and raise your profile to deliver the message effectively to decision makers in your audience. You may not gain agreement, yet. However, you’ll want them to respect you and respect what you have to say. You want to become significant in their thinking. You’ll want to become their trusted adviser, the one they turn to for guidance.
In front of your audience, your first impression is your lasting impression. It happens so quickly, more quickly than you and they are conscious of. It takes around 7 seconds. Even when you think you’re not being observed, you’ll create an impact. Even in their peripheral vision. It’s likely that they’ve already decided about you before you step to the front!
The unconscious decision gets made very early since it’s looking for patterns of recognition. Even when the decision maker is turned away from you talking to someone else, they will be unconsciously logging your appearance and body language. They’ll already have made an assumption about you before you are introduced. It’ll take another 20 encounters to change that assumption.
Therefore, before you enter the room, you need to be prepared. Come in looking powerful and confident. Be alert and focused. Step forward purposefully, even if you’re not sure of the geography of the room. Make for a group in the centre of the room and look as though you have a right to be there.
Every second counts. It will stand you in good stead later since your audience has already decided. They take their lead from you. When you behave with credibility and confidence, so they will find you credible and have confidence in you. They are willing to heed what you say.
We believe everything you tell us about yourself!