first impression

First impressions really set the tone

by Jason on December 21, 2011 · 0 comments

Handshake by Christopher Matson

An interesting lesson from video editing:

I bought a new wireless microphone recently for my video marketing, and it’s 100% amazing, but because it’s a condenser mic it picks up ambient noise regardless and still needs some post processing.  Not a huge deal; I’m used to it.  My workflow has a noise removal filter that I use, and it gets, say, 98% of the hiss out of the final output.

But here’s where it gets interesting.  Since most of my videos are of me talking, there’s a short pause before I start – no more than a second, but it’s there.  I found that if I muted that initial period, so instead of a slight hiss there was total silence, the hissing that was on the rest of the video was way less noticeable.

That’s right: otherwise identical clips, except for the first half second, and one seemed clearly more professional.  Simply because the first thing you noticed wasn’t a noise artifact. (Which, by the way, was only apparent with headphones at full volume.  But some viewers will be in that scenario.)

It really drove home for me the importance of that first impression.  Setting the overall tone, and driving attention to the aspect that you want the other person to see.  In this case, it was muting a video briefly so the visuals got the immediate focus.

What can you tweak in your first half second of interaction to drive your audience’s attention?

Photo by  Christopher Matson