Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something, and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
-Dalai Lama

Welcome to July’s “Mysteries of the Mind” monthly newsletter!

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
-Will Rogers

10 Steps to Making a Fantastic First Impression

Our brains take in a huge amount of verbal and non-verbal cues almost instantaneously when we meet someone.

It takes just a quick glance, less than 7 seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. In this short time, They will form an opinion about you based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanor, your mannerisms, your tone, and how you are dressed.

These first impression can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for the relationship that follows.

The moment that stranger sees you, they begin to determine: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are you trustworthy, competent, likable, and confident?

First impressions are more heavily influenced by nonverbal cues than verbal cues. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.

You can’t stop people from making snap decisions – the human brain is hardwired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism – However, you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favor.

So, whether they are in your career or social life, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression.

So how can we make good first impressions? 10 steps!

1. Choose your attitude. People will feel your attitude instantly. Before you turn to greet someone, enter the room, or step on stage, think about the situation and make a conscious choice about the attitude you want to embody.

2. Straighten your posture. Status and power are nonverbally conveyed by height and space. Standing tall, pulling your shoulders back, and holding your head straight are all signals of confidence and competence.

3. Smile. A smile is an invitation. It is welcoming and says ” I’m friendly and approachable.”

4. Eye contact. Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)

5. Raise your eyebrows. Open your eyes slightly more than normal to simulate the “eyebrow flash” that is the universal signal of recognition and acknowledgement. (I sometimes call this “Turning on the sparkle”)

6. Dress appropriately. Your outer appearance is your packaging. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look groomed and well dressed. Brush your hair and trim your nails. Decide, what is the appropriate dress for the meeting or occasion? In a business setting, what is the appropriate business attire? Suit, blazer, casual, jeans? And ask yourself what the person you’ll be meeting is likely to wear. I always try to wear 1 step above what the crowd will be wearing so it looks like I am going somewhere better later.

7. Have something current to talk about. It’s easier than ever to stay in tune with what happens in the world. People who don’t know what’s going on appear uninterested and unaware. Set your computer or mobile browser homepage to a site like That way, every time you are on the Internet, you can see what’s happening in the feed. I watch The Daily Show on Hulu and listen to streaming NPR as well. Knowing what’s going on will help you be a better conversationalist and find common ground with whomever you interacting with.

8. Take a genuine interest in others. When you listen to others, listen to listen. Don’t do as many do and ignore what the other is saying simply waiting for a pause so you can continue your thought. Take an honest and genuine interest in their point of view, their thoughts, and what they have to say to you.

9. Be Positive. Your attitude shows through in everything you do. Project a positive attitude, even in the face of criticism or in the case of nervousness. Strive to learn from your meeting and to contribute appropriately, maintaining an upbeat manner and a smile.

10. Tone of voice. Here is a fascinating study on how we interpret just one word: Hello.
Listen/Read Here

Now go out and make some great first impressions.

Let me know if there is anyone in your organization that I should reach out to help in the development of a positive corporate culture that leads to better customer service. I promise to add a little magic along the way!

Your friend,
-Paul Draper


Read more about Paul:
Paul Draper Mentalism (pdf)
Transformational Leadership with Paul Draper (pdf)

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure
-Joseph Campbell

Full Length Demo

A client asked for an unusual demo video for a potential long running show starting this November. They wanted a 16 minute long demo.

As such, here is a “best of” version of my show. My friend Justin Carter sorted through 10 hours of footage and put together a 16-minute reel of some of his favorite effects I perform.

Paul Draper Demo

Watch here

Let me know your thoughts!

Zombies, Swashbuckling, & Gangsters

Last month I shared the musical my team made in Las Vegas in 48 hours or less for the film festival.
Now you can enjoy the Silent Film we made in Salt Lake City. One of our best yet!

Zombies, Swashbuckling, & Gangsters

The Great American Novel

Watch here

Written, cast, shot, edited, and turned in in less than 48 hours!

Want to see some of our past projects?
Watch here

48 Hour Film Project