You have 3 Seconds…

Time to Read: 3 Mins Maximum

You have 3 Seconds…

To make a personal, powerful impact. That is the maximum time in which we decide if we like someone, or not. If someone doesn’t like you, they won’t trust you, value you or do business with you.

And, if someone hates you on the first meeting, they will probably end up as your husband or wife!

Making an immediate positive impact is one of the most important skills there is.

Bob Perry is our Naked Leader Expert in this area, and on Thursday 12 February he will share the most proven, practical, powerful essentials of personal impact

For now…

When meeting someone for the first time, give them a warm smile, match their handshake grip, and then ask them a question about their favourite subject.

That means you both have to discover their favourite subject in under 3 seconds, and know enough about it to ask them a question…

OK – here’s a technique to discover their favourite subject – read the next word:


Next, the best question to ask:

In brief – any question that shows an interest in their favourite subject (themselves) and then gets them talking about said subject (still themselves):

At a business networking event: “Where have you come from today?” (Not “what do you do?”)

When being introduced by someone: “I am very pleased to meet you, and how do you know… (name of person introducing you)”?

When meeting in a social setting after “Pleased to meet you”, ask “and how are you today?” (Not just “how are you?”)

Or, if you are running a hotel:

With my love and best wishes


Your comments below please or as Basil would say THERE THERE THERE!


  • Clive Barrett

    Very true, David.
    I remember a strained first encounter with someone who is now a very good friend and confidant. Initially, it didn’t go well, and what might have been a relationship that failed to develop from the word go, actually went the other way, much to the mutual benefit of both of us.
    So, wise words indeed as ever.

  • Frank Landon

    Yes, it often happens like that.
    I don’t think my first girl friend liked me either, until we got engages and married!!
    Alas we split up two years later so maybe the first inclination was the correct one!

  • Thomas Frith

    There are all sorts of ways we should be listening to people and engaging with them and this is a great post and and good prompt as to how we should be greeting people.

  • Graham Stagg

    That took more than 3 seconds!
    Get the point though, good post as ever.

  • Frank Landon

    I agree that most people like to talk about themselves, why is that?
    Sometimes what they have to say is not really that interesting but they plough on with their own agenda!
    Sometimes it’s nice to lead them off their favourite subject in order to get a word in!

    • David Taylor

      It’s because our favourite subject is always ourselves – it has to be, no-one else knows what it’s like being you Frank. David

  • Frank Landon

    It’s a good job people don’t know what it’s like being me, David, they wouldn’t approve!

  • Liam Roake

    Bit like buying a house, you know straight away if you don’t like the house as you walk in.

    • David Taylor

      Indeed Liam! And then we have to look at every room, which of course will usually support out first gut feel – after all, we love to be right!

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