A GLIMPSE INTO THE MARCH COFFEE CONNECTION, HOSTED BY MACY'S: How to Make a Great First Impression with Confidence and Style
By: Dena Lefkowitz, Esq., PCC
Did you know that first impressions are formed within 7-30 seconds of meeting a person? And a large percentage of that initial impression is nonverbal. In other words, we take each other in, size each other up, and we do it all before a single word is spoken.
First impressions run the gamut from people you encounter in your daily round, to networking events, to job interviews, public speaking and even dates. There are steps you can take to put the best foot forward in every scenario.
Our brains make judgments in seconds. Nonverbal cues will be taken from posture, body language, gait, facial expressions, eye contact, handshakes, personal grooming, and clothing. When you want to make a good impression, focus on where you stand on each front. Assess yourself and ask for opinions from people you trust. They will see things that you don’t.
A personal trainer I had many years ago said “make good posture part of your day.” Like any long-standing, entrenched habit, slouching was a hard one to break. The fact that I remember his words many years later is a testament to how many times I remind myself as I slump over a book or hunch over my computer.
Even if you don’t do it all the time, sit and stand up straight when you want to make a good impression: spine straight, shoulders relaxed and chin up. Some say standing up straight makes you look younger, thinner and taller, but it’s the energetic component you’re after. The feeling of being in charge. Staying mindful of posture keeps you in the present moment and feels more confident.
Body language can be your best friend when you want to project confidence. It can also silently derail best efforts when you are unaware and unintentionally slump. Social scientist Amy Cuddy coined the term “power poses” for ways you can hold your body that promote feelings of power. These high power poses can boost confidence before a presentation, competition or any type of performance.
Make a practice of observing what confidence looks like, check out people that appear confident to you and break it down into behaviors that you can adapt for your own use. It can be someone you know or even characters from books or television. I like Diane Lockhart, played by Christine Baranski on “The Good Wife”. She has executive presence in spades and don’t get me started on her clothing. All of the lawyers on the show are exquisitely dressed, but Baranski gets to wear statement clothing and big, chunky jewelry which only add to her perceived power.
To learn more about "How to Make a Great First Impression with Confidence and Style" by Dena Lefkowitz, Esq., PCC, attend the March Coffee Connection hosted by Macy's. Dena and Macy's Fashion Stylist will be on-site to educate attendees about how grow their self-confidence and the wardrobe to help you do it.
Click here to register.
About the Writer:
Dena Lefkowitz, Esq., PCC
O: 610-566-5089 | C: 215-696-3079
Dena Lefkowitz is a certified professional coach who helps clients build their book of business, make successful career transitions, and develop the skills necessary to lead. Prior to becoming a coach, Dena had a successful career as an attorney, which influences and enhances her coaching. Dena has successfully coached a best-selling author, lawyers, accountants and executives.
Note from Dena: When I coach clients preparing for a presentation, pitching to a prospect, or any similar endeavor, I always ask “what are you going to wear?” Oftentimes, it is the last thing on their minds. However, clothing is a major player in making that impression you want. It’s among the very first things a person will observe about you. What do you want them to see? You can take control.