How to make the best first impression

The usual advice we hear about making a good first impression — aside from dressing well — is to plan what we are going to say ahead of time, and to practice it until the words become second nature.

Transformational coach Alain Wolf begs to differ. In his new best-selling book Develop Amazing Social Skills and Connect with People, he outlines a different approach, which focuses more on authenticity and desired emotions, and less about what people should say.

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About Alain

Alain Wolf is an award-winning entrepreneur, transformational coach and author. Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, he organizes live events throughout Europe. He offers online courses on communication skills, assertiveness, goal setting and influence. For more information, check out his website. His new book Develop Amazing Social Skills and Connect with People is available on Amazon.

“Firstly, understand that words are 7% of communication,” he says. “93% is non-verbal. Ask yourself: ‘What do I want to feel?’ Instead of: ‘What should I say?’  People remember how they feel. Emotions are stronger than words. If you focus on being positive and confident, your body language will be aligned with that.”

So you give off the impression you intend to convey by focusing on the desired emotion. It's automatic.

“The second step is not trying to become someone else,” Wolf continues. “People will see through it. Authenticity is knowing who you are and knowing how to communicate that to others. Think about your past. What worked? Can you repeat this?”

And don't overthink it.

“The third step is to start the car — people don’t remember the initial interaction. Take action. This decreases your fear of approaching the person.” 

Jump in and make that first interaction. Wolf elaborates on this step in his book and in his classes on communication skills, assertiveness, goal-setting and influence. 

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