First Impressions Are Fast Impressions: How Do You Succeed at Both?

Picture this: The lights at Carnegie Hall are lowered. You can feel the electricity in the air. The hall is filled to capacity. The orchestra is given the signal to begin. Frank Sinatra walks on stage, commanding attention, by looking tall, fit and trim wearing a tailored suit that fits him to perfection. He smiles and makes eye contact with his audience making each person feel as if they were an honored guest and he was singing just for them. The audience was riveted to the stage. They could not take their eyes off him.

Frank Sinatra, old blue eyes, sang with beautiful phrasing with good clear diction. He was telling a story through his singing. It was as if he was painting a picture through his singing. Between songs he would tell an anecdote, a story or a joke. Frank Sinatra sang for two hours with an intermission. The concert ended with a standing ovation and Frank Sinatra sang an encore leaving a smile on each audience members face as they left his concert.

What are the 4 secrets I learned from Frank Sinatra about first impressions and commanding attention?

1) Wear a smile and dress for success in clothes that make you feel happy and successful. Always stand or sit tall. Do not slouch and be proud of your appearance. My grandmother, Belle S. Frank, a women’s clothes buyer for a department store for many years said it best, “Look in the mirror; what do you see?” Before you leave your house take a look at yourself in the mirror and make sure you look your best.

2) Everyone is attracted to fit people. Start exercising and stop eating junk food. After playing with Frank Sinatra I decided to join a gym and exercise 3 times a week. Also instead of eating my favorite candy or potato chips I would eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable like carrots or celery.

3) Speak clearly and at a moderate speed in a pleasing voice. Use words that show proper grammar and vocabulary.

4) When you are introduced to someone new, remember their name and use it often. At work or at home be a good listener and use eye contact. Ask questions to show you care about them. Everyone likes to talk about themselves.

In talking with a Contractor recently I noticed he did not sound like he usually does, happy and energetic. I asked him “how are you feeling?” He said, “not very well! I have to see my doctor.” I encouraged him to do this. When I spoke to him the following week the first thing I asked him was how are you feeling? It is important to care about the people we work with. We do not live in a vacuum. Show the people around you that you care about them!