The other day I was waiting to see a client in their reception area. I took notice of what others were reading while waiting to be seen. One was reading a novel of some sort; the other was reading a People magazine. It was then I thought, what were they “saying” to their client by what they were reading. Does this have an impact on what others think just by what you are reading?

Home / Answers From Ask! The Image Guru Blog / The other day I was waiting to see a client in their reception area. I took notice of what others were reading while waiting to be seen. One was reading a novel of some sort; the other was reading a People magazine. It was then I thought, what were they “saying” to their client by what they were reading. Does this have an impact on what others think just by what you are reading?

When waiting in the reception area for a meeting you should select literature about the company, such as a brochure or an annual report. If those are not available consider reading business magazines. Reading material such as a tabloid magazine or a personal book might communicate that you may not be taking the meeting very serious or that you might have too much time on your hands and you are not in any hurry.

You can be making notes or reviewing your own personal material, but remember this, whatever you are reading, don’t get engrossed in the information. In reality you should not be reading, you should just be scanning.

If you are too focused on the reading material you could get caught by surprise and find someone standing in front of you trying to introduce themselves. That is obviously not a very good beginning when greeting others. Especially if it is your first time visit.

This is another reason to sit where you can watch anyone approaching, so that you can put the item(s) back on the table as if you were just finishing your reading, while at the same time, preparing to meet your client with ease.

Once you see the person asking the receptionist about you, then this is your cue to place the reading material down, while simultaneously getting ready to gather your items. Once the person calls your name, gather your items, begin smiling, and then stand while extending your arm to shake hands. They approached you, so let them introduce themselves first.

In doing this, you just communicated nonverbally that you are organized and efficient without saying a word. Imagine if you had to put the reading material down, stand up, greet your cleint, have him or her wait while you reach down to gather your items from the floor, the seat, or the table. Imagine how disorganized and anxious you would appear at first impact.

Happy Reading!

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