First Impressions Outside the Digital Bubble

handshakeWhile social media certainly has its perks and has made getting in touch with our audience much easier, we’d be naive to say that it doesn’t have a downside as well. It goes beyond social media, too; simple things such as e-mail and chat programs have caused some to rely too heavily on such tools. When we rely too much on the digital realm, it makes us rusty when it comes to a good old face-to-face encounter.

Some psychologists even fear that this next generation of workers may have absolutely no social skill at all outside of Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

If you find yourself relying far too much on social media and in fear of real-life face-to-face meetings, here are rules of thumb in regards to first impressions and the art of selling your message effectively.

  • Not sure how to dress? Play it safe and dress professionally. It is always best to be over-dressed than under-dressed. In fact, it can often pay dividends to be the best-dressed person in the room.
  • Keep personal space in mind. No one likes to be crowded. You don’t want to be the guy that others remember as the “in your face” type. It’s off-putting and, quite frankly, can be rather creepy at times.  Some people also see this as being intrusive and rude.
  • Awkward or not, do your best to hold eye contact with the person you are talking to. It shows that you are genuinely interested in what they are saying. If you are speaking, it is generally okay to look away from time to time but if you are mostly listening, maintain eye contact when possible.
  • Don’t talk fast or make unnecessary jokes. In fact, if at all possible, get the other party to speak first. Take note of the speed of their speech and try to match them. Studies have proven that this makes the other party fell more comfortable than someone that speaks faster than them.

Sure, this all sounds simple but most people don’t even think about these sorts of things. But the truth of the matter is that even in a highly digital world, a good old fashioned handshake and conversation can work wonders as long as you know how to manage it.

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