Thursday, May 19, 2016

How to Enter on a High Note

Two German psychologists arranged an experiment.

They asked respondents to watch a video of violinists and judge their talent.

Respondents gave the highest marks to the violinists who nodded at the audiencebefore performing.

"Stage performers are the consummate experts in making a grand entrance," Susan Krauss Whitbourne says in Psychology Today.

"Even classical musicians, whom you might think of as controlling impressions by their ability to perform the piece, control the audience’s reaction to their work by the way they first make their appearance in the concert hall."

Dr. Whitbourne offers these eight tips for making good first impressions:

Decide how grand your entrance should be. Tread lightly, especially in informal situations and those in which you know everyone present.

Be prompt. Don’t be the last to enter the room, if you want to appear reliable. It also helps to welcome others with a smile and handshake.

Show the appropriate emotion. Serious occasions demand a display of gravitas; parties, a show of pleasantness; negotiations, a poker face.

Pause to gather your thoughts. You'll benefit from a momentary mental rundown of what you’re hoping to accomplish in the situation.

Look around at the people in the room. Take your cue from the violinists: return people's gazes and nod at your audience.

Determine when you’re not the center of attention. When you're not the big cheese, be dignified, not grand.

Look like you’re glad to be there. You might dread the occasion, but if you show anxiety or disdain, you guarantee a bad outcome.

Don’t fret a botched opening. You trip as you walk onto the stage. You drop all your notes. You skip immediately to your last slide. The teleprompter breaks. "Oops moments" are common—and recoverable, if you don't willow. Just smile and get on with the show.

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