Are you making a good first impression? Researchers with the UK’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) think not.
The organization has created a special division called RADA in Business to pass on dramatic skills useful to the business community. In a survey of 1000 business people conducted by the group, 71 percent feel (PDF) they make a good first impression while 78 percent say they have seldom met someone else who does.
Most Give a Bad First Impression
These numbers would seem to suggest most people are making a poor first impression even though they believe they are making a good one.
Similarly, the survey indicates 97 percent of respondents agree effective first impressions are linked to good communications skills. However, in the same survey, only 47 percent of respondents believe their communications skills are delivering the desired results.
The Play’s the Thing …
Fortunately, according to RADA in Business, many of the same skills allowing actors to transport audiences to a different place and time can also be effective in improving a business person’s communications skills.
The group’s tutors teach business people skills like physical presence, a strong engaging voice, open body language, effective eye contact and positive ways to open a conversation.
All these skills, taken from the stage, will help a business person to make a better first impression, the group claims.
Could Theatrical Training Help Your Business?
So could theatrical training help you as a business leader? Well, representatives of RADA for Business would say yes. The organization’s report explains:
“Every actor hopes for their big break — a role that gives them a chance to shine and show their talent.”
“Workplaces are no different,” the RADA for Business team adds in the report. “From time to time the spotlight falls on us and we feel under pressure to deliver a strong performance,”
Founded in 2001, RADA for Business offers tutors trained in the performing arts who travel around the world providing one-on-coaching, personal development courses and team development to CEOs and other business leaders.
Earnings from these programs go to fund the ongoing efforts of the Royal Academy. But even if it isn’t practical to bring a trainer across the Atlantic to help you make a good first impression for your business, there are other options.
Local trainers and workshops teach skills in everything from theater performance to public speaking and can help you develop similar abilities. Consider investing in your own communication skills and those of your team as a way to further grow your business.