Journey of Three - Katherine Martinez

Fact: I get anxiety thinking about what someone’s first impression is of me!

Did they meet me before I had a chance to have my morning coffee? Did they catch me right after a long stressful day? The overall dreaded first impression feeling I have after meeting an Executive...“I hope I didn’t end my career before I even had a chance to start it!” After attending Vanna Novak’s session focused on how to effectively Speak to Persuade, I left with a greater understanding of how to present myself and the content in a natural and authentic approach.

We started the day by being videotaped doing a 30 second intro of ourselves and addressing an audience with a topic of our choice. Talk about yourself and pick your own topic…sounds easy enough, right? No, it isn’t. After the group had a chance to be videotaped in the morning, Vanna spent time later that day to critique everyone’s video. The group had an opportunity to provide feedback, and it was very useful. What I took away from the exercise was I needed to work on my voice inflection. The impression is my voice inflection (the pitch of my voice going up at the end of my sentences) can take away from my efforts of displaying confidence and authority. A person’s voice - the rate of speaking, volume, articulation, quality and pitch accounts for 38% of one’s impact on being an effective communicator!

Within the first 10 seconds of someone seeing you, they will have already made as many as 10 judgments about you, thus forming their first initial impressions of you. Many of these initial impressions are based on the physical appearances. A person’s physical impression makes up 55% of their impact as a communicator. What Vanna showed me was how I can steer one’s impression of me through projecting a perception, which later becomes reality!

“Being an effective public speaker means being no one but yourself at your confident best,” was one of my favorite quotes of the session. It reminds me that I have more power than I think I do in controlling how others perceive me during presentations and when speaking to an audience. I learned a lot this past session- I learned more about myself and discovered more about the type of leader I want to convey to others!