(About a 2 minute read)
Last night, I popped into an internet chat room only to discover that folks had been mentioning me. “Ask Paul.” “Paul will know.” And so forth. Obviously, someone was trying to figure out who’d given them a wedgie.
As it happened, I was wrong about that. All they wanted were some “How-To” instructions on making a good first impression. It was therefore simple enough for me to give them the do and don’t of the matter:
DO: Tell her about your three fulsome inches of government-inspected, women-pleasing, rocket-slide-ride.
DON’T: Actually show it to her, least she notice how much you’ve exaggerated the length.
Simple stuff. Next question, please. Let’s keep them moving.
Only they weren’t letting me off that easy.
Now the person who was actually posing the question has told me she has a short attention span. So I decided to take that into account in answering her question about how to make a good first impression. In short, I decided to stick to the gist.
“Basically, you ask questions in order to get them talking about themselves. That’s it in a nutshell.”
It shouldn’t be too hard to do. You will most likely be helped along by the fact that they will try to impress you by telling you all about themselves.
That’s what most people do, they try to tell you impressive things about themselves, yet doing so tends to come across to most audiences as much less than deeply impressive. You’ll notice most audiences are soon enough trying to change the subject.
On the other hand, if you can actually get interested in another human enough to ask them a fair number of questions about themselves, and then to listen attentively to their answers, you are all but certain to make a favorable first impression — if not always immediately written into their will.
You can add tons of stuff to what I’ve just said, but to me, it’s all finesse. The gist is to get them talking about themselves.