Making a good first impression is a rare skill

Date published: 09 August 2018

Research conducted by RADA Business has found that making a good first impression is a rare skill.

Only 14% of those surveyed in Manchester said that they often come across people at work who make a lasting first impression.  

The overwhelming majority of employees in Greater Manchester (77%) say that they seldom meet someone who makes a strong first impression, with over a quarter (26%) saying they “never” or “rarely” encounter these charismatic individuals.

However, it seems that many business people in Greater Manchester are blissfully unaware of how little impact they are currently making, as 82% of people believe they regularly make the desired impact on others in a first meeting, despite the research showing this is not the case.

Over half of those surveyed (53%) believe that their communication style has the necessary influence in the workplace ‘‘always” or “most of the time” – although the research shows this is far from true.

Katie Underwood, Open Courses and Tutor Manager at RADA Business, comments: “As this research shows, people don’t always have the communication skills to make a lasting first impression. Yet, by employing some of the techniques used by actors when performing on stage, you can drastically increase your levels of success.

“Using your peripheral vision is crucial when entering a new space, so that you can absorb the atmosphere of the room you’re walking into and see everyone in it. It allows you to gauge the physical environment and emotional climate.

“By making positive physical and vocal choices your audience can see that you’re available to them and engaged, whether it's an interview panel of two people or hundreds for a presentation.

“Ultimately by increasing your self-awareness in business situations you become more aware of the impact of both your behaviour and the behaviour of others. You can use these skills to flex your communication style according to the situation and make the first impression required. It’s amazing how small shifts in how you use your physicality and voice can affect your audience.’’

World-renowned drama school, RADA, is mastering the art of making a good first impression through courses run by RADA Business. By opening its doors to professionals in Manchester, they’re offering communication, public speaking and leadership skills training to the North West region’s top business talent.

RADA Business’ research has been published in an online report called ‘All The Workplace Is A Stage’.

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