Life is a popularity game. That is the unspoken secret of successful people and what separates the average person from the exceptional. People who are successful are more likable, connect easily with anyone and are able to get their thoughts and ideas across in a way that influences their prospects to say yes. As a result, they get what they want.
This topic was addressed at STJobs’ workshop on 23 August. Its trainer, Mr Eric Feng, an entrepreneur-cum-speaker who has helped close to 5,000 business leaders and sales professionals in Asia unlock their personal brand of charisma opened the session by inviting all participants to get up, move around and introduce themselves to each other. A while later, having settled back in their seats, they were each called upon to name the participant who provided them with the best first impression.
When prompted to provide reasons of said task, many of them stated “had a warm smile”, “gave a firm handshake” and “he asked a little more about me (showed genuine interest)” to substantiate their stand. The purpose of the activity was to show how much importance is placed on creating a positive first impression by getting the other party to like someone and hence, trust them.
“How well you form an impression on the person is how far you’re going to get with the person,” Eric affirmed.
In the later part of the day, participants engaged in a public speaking exercise where they had to project and ‘throw out’ their voices.
“Always start by looking at the person who makes you feel most comfortable. Imagine you are talking to that person; give eye contact, but speak loud enough for others to hear you,” Eric urged.
A participant remarked that he felt like he was shouting, but Eric reasoned that it was due to him using his throat, rather than his diaphragm to project and let his voice resonate.
“What we think we sound like and how others hear us is very different,” he added.
Mr Mervin Foo, 39, Project Manager from Gemalto, wanted to build up his confidence and to be a more charismatic leader to his team. “The first key thing I learnt was that first impressions are important and secondly, how to get a conversation going within small talk,” he shared.
Ms Goh Sen Lee, an Engineer, was on the same bandwagon. She felt that she acquired skills on how she could connect to people. The 35-year-old explained, “I needed social skills at this point of my career, not just technical skills, so I was keen to take some tips from an expert.”
Other takeaways the participants picked up included identifying unique qualities within themselves which made them stand out from others, how to command their presence effortlessly, influencing people to their way of thinking to get more ‘yes-es’, as well as building positive and fulfilling relationships with anyone.
If you want to equip yourself with powerful skills for the workplace, then be sure to check out STJobs regularly!