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3 Lenses of First Impressions During Business Presentation

July 7, 2015 / Blog first impression, Heidi Grant Halvorson, personal image, presentation credibility, presentation tips, Rick Enrico, SlideGenius

The moment you begin speaking, people start building their own opinion of you. This first impression usually answers the questions “Who are you?” and ‘What do you do?”

Answer these questions accurately to ensure that your business presentation always starts off right.

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There are many interesting ways to enhance your audience’s perception of you and your message. In fact, social psychologist, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson believes that people see you in different lenses: the trust, power, and ego lenses.

We’ve taken these three lenses of a first impression as an inspiration to help you jump-start your business presentation – all the way through to success.

Trust Lens

You don’t want your audience to perceive you as indecisive and unreliable. Draw people to listen to you by building your credibility and demonstrating warmth and competence.

Presentations that are built on trust have a competitive advantage in establishing strong business relationships.

Looking through this lens not only lands you a positive impression but also protects your brand reputation, increases customer loyalty and gains the respect of your competitors.

Power Lens

This impression lens determines your worth to your audience. Since people seek benefits they’ll get from your presentation, ask yourself: “What does my audience need to hear from me?”

Tailoring your message in a way that serves your audience’s needs is ideal for boosting your discussion’s perceived usefulness. Make this your daily mantra to establish a favorable image and to build new networks.

Ego Lens

The ego lens lets your audience reflect on whether you’re proposing competition or an alliance.

Don’t worry if they happen to see you as both friend and foe. Instead, treat it as a strategic way of making your business grow. If they see you as an ally, they’ll see something in you that they need, hence encouraging them to do business with you.

If they see you as a foe, they’ll find strengths you have that they don’t have – which they also need, increasing their perception of you as the unbeatable expert in the industry.

Experiencing a point of distinction proves that you’re bringing valuable professional insights and strategies to your listeners.


Positive impressions make up a big part in influencing your audience and predicting the success of your presentation. Explore these three lenses of first impression to prove yourself worthy of your listeners’ time and attention.

Get their trust to build a strong relationship with them, reassure them that you’re capable of delivering what they need, and that you are the best person or company to approach to solve their needs. Once you pass through each lens, there’ll be nothing that’ll come between you and landing a sales deal with your client.

Once you pass through each lens, there’ll be nothing that’ll come between you and landing a sales deal with your client.

Need help with your business presentation? SlideGenius can help you craft a professional PowerPoint content and design that leverages your brand.

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10 Ways to Make a Positive First Impression during Presentations.SlideGenius, Inc. September 10, 2014. Accessed July 7, 2015.
DR. HEIDI GRANT HALVORSONAccessed July 7, 2015.
Presentation Tips: 5 Easy Ways to Establish Your Credibility.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2014. Accessed July 7, 2015.


Featured Image: Wikimedia