First impressions

This week’s blog has been written by our confidence expert – Annie Ashdown.  I think her 8 tips below on how to make a good lasting impression quickly are spot-on for those working parents who have limited time for networking.  In fact, these tips will give us all a confidence boost:

First impressions are absolutely crucial so you need to display self–confidence in order to gain respect. Not many people understand that you need to plan, practise and prepare.

By believing in yourself and demonstrating a quiet inner strength, self-assurance and high self-esteem, you will hold the attention of others.

Annie Ashdown’s 8 Keys

  1. First and foremost you must always smile. In order to shine you must be natural and real. It is crucial to be yourself, so ensure your mind, body and soul are in good shape to help you stand out above everyone else – and above all, act authentically.
  2. Breathe deeply, speak slowly and calmly and pause and reflect for a few moments before answering questions. Don’t people please, offer to be of service – there is a huge difference. Do not focus on yourself, stay focused on others. Always be more interested, than interesting.
  3. Take pride in your appearance as this makes an outward statement about you and expresses who you are. Create your own style to get yourself noticed.
  4. Learn the art of body language so you look relaxed and comfortable. Having a powerful, physical presence signals confidence and competence. Hold your head up, stand tall and keep your arms and hands as still as possible; you will mentally feel more confident and your body language will communicate more confidence.
  5. Don’t get caught up in drama, gossip or ‘the story’. Never waffle, always speak in a relaxed, slow, neutral tone being sharp and original. Speak with passion and enthusiasm. Focus on the words you say, think before you speak.
  6. Compliment others in a genuine way. Make sure you have direct eye contact and demonstrate an open mind and open heart in order to bring out the best in them and the best in yourself.
  7. Always take compliments gracefully. If someone says ‘I love your dress’ don’t say, ‘it’s old or I got it at a bargain price’, just say ‘Thank you’, or ‘How nice of you to say that’.
  8. Ask questions and sincerely show interest in other people. Give before you get. Be bold, be spontaneous, be fun, and laugh at yourself if you make a mistake. Never criticise another person, always observe without judgement.

For more information on Annie’s one-to-one confidence coaching sessions, her great books and other services, please see

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