On Friday afternoon at the New York State's Society of CPAs (NYSSCPA) NextGen15 Conference - the annual interactive career development conference held in Midtown Manhattan - Thomas Farley, a manners and etiquette expert offering training to businesses across the U.S, spoke on the value of manners in his presentation, "Timeless Principles of Business Etiquette."
Farley noted that the most important aspect to making an impression is the first seven seconds of meeting anyone, stressing the concept of "Remember-ability."
"If you're not planning on how you're going to be perceived, how can you be perceived the way you want," Farley asked the audience.
Posture and body language is one of the few universals around the globe, Farley said, noting that getting up, making eye contact, and shaking hands is key in showing respect upon meeting anyone for the first time.
On one's physical appearance, Farley told the audience to ask themselves, "When you walk out the door, how do you want to be perceived?" He also noted to pay attention especially to one's shoes, which is the first thing people seem to notice about one another.
Next comes the handshake, which Farley made a point of measuring with a handshake-strength measuring machine to measure appropriate strength.
Then, according to Farley, you have "ten seconds to intrigue." "Don't think of yourself in the terms of the company you work for, or the school you went to," he said, "but what would interest the person [you're] talking to. Think of your introductory speeches not as, 'I work here,' but 'I help people who...' Think about how do make the person [you're talking to] shine." He pointed to 7 minutes being the duration of a good networking conversation.
In that conversation, Farley said to avoid the words "Amazing, Awesome, Literally, Like, You Know, No Problem, and What?" for more upscale terms like "Wonderful, Sensational, Nearly, My Pleasure, and Pardon Me?" to stand out more and make a lasting impression.
For more on NextGen, head to the NYSSCPA's site here.