Appearance

First Impressions – Acting the Part

Did you know that it only takes people seconds to form a first impression? Although opinions regarding the exact amount of time may vary, it is safe to assume that within the first few moments of meeting people, they have already decided how they feel about you. Humans are highly visual, so your appearance, clothing, and body language are huge factors in this decision.

In business, it is so important to ensure your first impression says all the right things because it can make or break landing a job or client. People are skilled at adjusting to a wide range of social environments, so you can put off different impressions depending on who you are meeting. For example, when meeting potential new friends, you may want to come across as funny and relaxed. When you interview for a new major gifts officer position, you want your potential employer or client to feel confident that you can do the job. Successful business people are masters of making powerful first impressions. Professional fundraisers come across as highly charismatic and are well received by potential planned gift donors.

Luckily, it is easy to make adjustments to weave yourself into the image you want to portray. Taking a good look at how you present yourself is a great step towards making sure you always show up as planned. Although what you wear and how you look may seem dated considerations, they are still important. Dressing appropriately for the occasion is an easy place to start. Since body language is an equally important factor in how people decide if they like you, making sure that you are perceived as welcoming and confident is key. Choosing to use authentic language is also something important to think about. You can spot an imposter from a mile away, trust us. 

Portraying yourself as a confident, genuine person can sometimes seem intimidating, but all it takes is a bit of tweaking. We have put together this resource to help you audit your overall persona and make sure you’re showing up exactly as planned. Check out these articles to make better first impressions.