At this time of year, there’s no escaping the deluge of advice about keeping your New Year’s resolution. I find much of it is about dieting or exercise. It seems as if there is no other goal for us than being skinny. But I suspect that many of you, as I, think about more than just our weight as we mull over the year ahead. For me, as a business owner, it’s about how I can continue to grow my company and have a positive impact in business that continues over time.
Coincidentally, an ad in the employment section of a national paper that caught my attention the other day fits perfectly with my thoughts for 2014. It read, “Make your next impression a lasting one.” But how do you make sure that the impression you make is a lasting one? True, some people seem to have a natural charisma. When they walk into a room they’re like magnets that others gravitate to right away. But we can’t all be larger-than-life personalities. So how do we mere mortals make ourselves memorable?
Dale Carnegie figured the way to succeed was to get people to like you. Best-selling author Leil Lowndes thinks it’s all about creating an instant connection. He notes there are many “tricks” for ensuring this outcome. In fact, there are 96 of them, as you’ll learn if you read How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Tricks for Big Success in Relationships).
But I don’t think you need quite that many strategies if you want to make a lasting impression on other people. In fact, you can subtract 90 of them and just stick with these six tips.
The Language Lab’s six top tips for making a lasting impression
1. Give your undivided attention: When communicating with others we so easily slip into thinking about ourselves. Don’t fall into that trap! Give others your undivided attention.
2. Make eye contact: Making eye contact is an excellent way to quickly connect with another person. If you avoid doing so, particularly when giving a presentation, you may come across as insincere. (Or as, heaven forbid, utterly forgettable.)
3. Cultivate positive body language: As Language Lab guest blogger Dr. G. Jack Brown points out on his website, Body Language Success, “55 to 80% of all human communication is nonverbal.” Have a look at Dr. Brown’s in-depth analysis of politicians’ body language to get some ideas of the kind of body language you should practice, and what to avoid.
4. Be genuinely curious: Every person you meet has at least one or two good stories to tell. Are you curious about finding out what they are? If so, and you ask the right questions to elicit those stories, you’re more likely to have a rich, interesting conversation — one that will be remembered.
5. Be Hugh Jackman: OK, so we can’t all be Hugh Jackman. Click through this link to learn one man’s story about how Hugh Jackman is not only a star, he is also a stellar communicator.
6. Be friendly: It’s the simplest advice of all. Smile.
To learn more about making a lasting impression in business, sign up for one of our Language Lab online courses. We’re offering a New Year’s 10% discount.