Seven seconds is all you get to make a first impression.
You walk in the door, smile, hold out your hand and time is up.
How do you make those seven seconds count?
A first impression is all about the energy you project and how you’re perceived. A good first impression can open doors of opportunity, while a bad first impression can leave you with missed opportunities. Business Insider, among other sources, validate that seven seconds is all you get to make that impact.
To present yourself in a certain way, you must truly feel that way. This means part of presenting your executive self is about feeling comfortable, confident, and competent. To get there, try these four tried and true preparation techniques before your next big interview or business event.
- Power Posing
A power pose is a victory stance (see examples above): straight back, chin up, feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips or above your head. Holding one of these poses will increase your energy, positivity, and focus. They make you feel like a winner!
Try it before leaving the house, while waiting in your car before a big meeting, or in a bathroom stall if you’re in a public place. How do you feel?
If you’re an athlete, you may be familiar with this technique. There are many different types of visualization; essentially, you imagine the ideal scenario for what you’re about to experience.
Your visualization must be positive because this exercise helps to program you for the real deal. Don’t skimp on details: imagine yourself walking into the room, shaking hands with the hiring manager, etc. Being able to guide your internal self through the details with a positive outcome will help you do the same in real life.
For an affirmation to work it must be positive, short, and repeated aloud (multiple times) with confidence. Your thoughts are influenced by what you hear, so hearing positive things will make you think in a positive way.
Test out the above affirmations while getting ready in the morning. Saying them in front of a mirror can help you feel more connected to the statements.
- Dressing the part
Have you ever had to wear traditional business attire? If you’re like me, and most young working professionals today, you probably had to at some point.
But do you have to suit up every day? Every week? Most likely, no.
The majority of offices these days have casual dress codes – even JP Morgan is now business casual! However, professional attire is still a must if you want to put your best-foot forward in high-profile situations such as interviews, executive presentations, sales meetings, and networking events.
What “in the zone” routine works best for you? I like to get dressed in my business outfit, face myself in the mirror, and repeat an affirmation while holding a power pose. This combination gives me a huge surge in confidence, positivity, and energy, and makes me feel ready to own the boardroom.
Are you ready?
Erica is Founder & CEO of Own the Boardroom.
OTB is an online company focused on helping you present your executive self without needing an executive salary. If you’re a college student preparing for interviews, why spend hundreds on something that will sit in the back of your closet when you can save money and rent for the occasion?
Check out Own The Boardroom for that affordable alternative to buying expensive professional attire.
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