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Always practice your START. For everything.

Friday 17th November 2023 - GMT

First impressions are critical.

So, we always want to make a good first impression.

And for certain things, we pay lots of attention to this all-important first impression. Things like: job interviews, payrise discussions, first dates …

But for everything else? How often do we prepare our first impression for our regular 121s with our team? For our weekly update meetings? For the 312th email we’ve sent that day?

But first impressions are always important.  Whether we can be bothered preparing for them, or not.

So, we should always invest some time (as in, more than none whatsoever) in preparing our first impression. For instance:

  1. Verbal meetings – script and practice your opening, so everyone is instantly delighted they have attended
  2. Written communication – ensure your title and/or subtitle contains something that will captivate the reader
  3. Your Elevator Pitch – introduce yourself impressively. Do NOT talk about what you are (I am an accountant). Or what you do (I prepare tax returns).  Instead, talk about what you cause to happen AFTER you’ve done your work (I help people pay less tax than they thought they had to)

Just like a serve in tennis, if you start/serve well, you’ll probably win the point. And if you start badly, you’ll probably lose it.

And also, just like the serve in tennis, when you start, your opponent hasn’t hit the ball yet. So, if our serve/start isn’t good, that’s our fault!

Action Point

Within two minutes of reading this tip, you’ll be communicating with someone – a chat, an email, a presentation … Do “more than no” prep for your first impression. Nail it. Impress them. The better you start, the better you end.

For lots more tips, go to


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Always practice your START. For everything.

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