3 Strategies to Make a Positive First Impression Virtually – Zoom

First impressions are formed in the blink of an eye, but their effects can last for a lifetime once they are made. The first impression you give can have a significant impact on whether someone hires you, buys from you, befriends you, or remembers you.

It has been demonstrated that there are many variables influencing first impressions during a virtual presentation. Dr. Carmen Simon, Chief Science Officer at Corporate Visions and B2B DecisionLabs, recently performed a series of neuroscientific studies in order to understand the factors that influence these impressions. There are three key components in her research that are crucial: the audience, the information, and the delivery method.

Her findings provide you with practical tools that you can immediately put to use, especially if you are customizing your approach to fit a virtual audience, such as those on platforms like Zoom. To make sure that you deliver great presentations and make a great first impression virtually, read on to learn a few strategies to help you do just that.

1. Make every slide count

Presentations and presenters can be impacted by one slide

There has been a lot of study done concerning the impact that one slide can have on a presentation by Dr. Simon. A virtual presentation was viewed by two Contacts and Channels . You can add contacts, create contact groups of business professionals who were divided into two groups. As soon as the second group heard about the introduction, they were shown an extra slide that had been designed to overcome objections that had been raised. There was only one slide that caused the group to withdraw from each other due to withdrawal behavior. There are various factors that can affect how persuasive a slide is during a first call with a new team, including its tone and language. So, before you present your next presentation for a first meeting, scrutinize all of the content carefully and ask yourself of each slide: Is this appropriate for a meeting for the first time?

Boost your attention and memory by priming your brain with positive messages

Approximately 10% of your presentation will be remembered by your audience after 48 hours of your presentation, according to research. People tend to forget so much due to the fact that they are not ready to pay attention to what is important, which is one of the reasons for their forgetfulness. Therefore, you will need to identify the “10% message” first and then prime the message to ensure they remember that message for as long as possible.

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In order to prime a situation, it is essential to use a stimulus, such as a sentence or a description, in order to influence the reaction to a subsequent event. This is important because research conducted by Dr. Simon reveals that audiences who are exposed to negative language in the slide before a 10% message pay less attention to it. In order to prime your 10% message with positive emotions and create a positive feeling right before it, consider using an unexpected image, stat, or story right before your 10% message. In other words, that is what priming is all about. For people who have never seen your presentation before, introducing your 10% message with positive information improves not only memory, but also favorable associations with your critical messages.

2. Design content to foster positivity

Less is NOT more – add details to improve focus, mood, memory

There is a common belief that if you present something for the first time, you will be more successful by providing fewer details. According to Dr. Simon, however, this is not the case. During one of her studies, she observed that when participants were exposed to simple vs. complex slides, their attention was elevated, their working memory improved, and their motivation was increased. A favorable first impression (and a lasting impression) can be achieved by combining these cognitive states. Since the complexity of the slides was managed through a gradual display of details in order to avoid overwhelming the audience, the audiences viewing the complex slides were able to retain information better and did not experience additional fatigue.

Offer cognitive ease on important slides

To improve memory, it is important to add details in a cautious manner. As Dr. Simon found in his study, slides that are decorated with seductive details, like decorative images, can distract the viewer and impair their focus and memory. Your critical message will be remembered more long-term when you present your 10% slides without decorative pictures for the first time. As a result, you will command higher long-term memory for your crucial message.

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3. Think carefully about your delivery

Intro calls can be virtual

First-time perceptions can be influenced by modality in comparison to face-to-face, virtual, phone, and hybrid presentations. Virtual participants, for example, seemed happier and more alert than the other modalities. Hybrid participants retreated from presentations due to stress and upset. A first meeting should be held in a virtual modality if possible for maximum impact, according to research.

Sit or stand? Choose wisely

Depending on your priorities, you may want to sit or stand. A standing presenter is more likely to make an impression on virtual audiences, but sitting down presenters have a better memory for the most important message. Sit if you want to build relationships. However, if you are more concerned about building memories, I would suggest standing.

Use caution with the chat box

During an introductory presentation to people who don’t know each other or are strangers to each other, Dr. Simon conducted an experiment where he compared the outcomes of using the chat box or not using the chat box during an introductory presentation. As compared to “chat on” participants, those who viewed the presentation in a less distracted, happier emotional state from chatting off were more likely to remember and pay attention to it, as opposed to those chatting on. The results of Simon’s study also showed that when the chat box was on, participants had a significantly better mood when they were able to answer questions right away. Whenever possible, it would be helpful to disable the public chat box during an introductory meeting. For a better virtual experience and first impression, you’ll want to answer any questions that people ask you as soon as possible if that’s not possible.

Elevate your presentation game 

In the e-book titled “The Science of First Impressions”, you can read more about Dr. Simon’s research findings and methodology. If you’re interested in learning more about how to elevate your virtual presentation skills, check out our webinar, “The Neuroscience of Persuasive Presentations.”.

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How do you make a good first impression on Zoom meeting?

5 Ways to Make a Good First Impression
  1. Dress appropriately for the event. When your only activity consists of sitting at a computer all day, resist the want to spend the entire time dressed in your most comfortable sweats.
  2. Make sure that the background you pick is appropriate.
  3. Talk to the camera, please.
  4. Make use of the mute function.
  5. Keep in mind that someone is filming you.

How do you impress in a zoom meeting?

Choose the ones that feel authentic to you and are right for your audience and the meeting content.
  1. Get things going with a bang. The manner in which a virtual meeting is launched establishes the tone for the rest of the session.
  2. Include music.
  3. Spur involvement.
  4. A supplementary piece of advice for all of you perfectionists out there.
  5. Develop a consistent approach.


How do I start my first meeting on Zoom?

How to start your first meeting as the host
  1. Log in to the web portal for your Zoom account.
  2. Click on the Meetings tab.
  3. Click the Start button that is located next to the upcoming meeting that you want to begin.
  4. To get the meeting started, the Zoom client should start up on its own automatically.