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How to Enter a Room like Don Draper

February 21, 2015 3 Minutes 6 Comments

First impressions count, and you never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Whether it be at the bar or the ballroom, how you enter that room and proceed to carry yourself as a man, matters. This is of course, particularly true when you're entering a room full of people you want to, or need to impress - such as a job interview, a party, or in my experience, an audition. I've used the example of Don Draper, because (as his character demonstrates) whatever room he enters, he commands attention and oozes charisma. People are drawn to him, and that is evident from the moment he gets his first foot through the door, until the time he gets up and walks out, generally only when he feels like it. 
Excerpt from motivational speaker Les Brown, talking about entering a room full of confidence...
"Recalling when he had to give a presentation at a corporation to win a contract, Les Brown knew it was between him and two other men sitting across from him in the waiting area. They said to each other, "Looking at the credentials we have an advantage here, we have two PHD's between us!” This man has no credintals. Les got up and went to the bathroom and started talking to himself. He said "Les Brown, what do you care about their two PHD's? You have six children and a mama to take care of!" He goes on to say…"
“So I went in that meeting and first of all I went in there walking bold, looking good, feeling good and smelling good! I sat across that table and when we started to negotiate I operated in a spirit of absolute certainty, I looked at them as if the only reason they were born was to give me that contract. And I got the contract."
So let's get down to brass tacks.

Mentally Prepare Your Purpose
Know exactly why you are about to enter that room, and what your endgame is. Be certain and purposeful, like you have a mission to accomplish when you enter and you have no plans to waste time. This works particularity well in business related meetings, but for social gatherings or parties, having a strong mental purpose can serve you well. You don't want to be the person who enters and who is unsure of whom to talk to or where to stand. Have a game plan.


Power Up (stretch)
Time to get the blood pumping. Get your energy up off the ground and re charge your state (something Tony Robbins is very strong on). Your physicality greatly affects your mentality, so we’re talking shaking it out, jumping up and down and loosening the limbs.
Be Overly Prepared 
Don't leave anything to chance. Being totally prepared allows you to relax into whatever you need to do, in comfort as you know when the details come in to play, you have them stored for use at any given time. 
Stand Tall
Don't slouch, is pretty obvious. Stand tall and stand proud. People read body language, even subconsciously, so don’t let off weak body language. 

Similar to the first point, but more in a physical nature, enter and travel the room with purpose. If you're unsure of where to stand in a room, pick a seat or area, and go to it as if reaching that spot is the most important thing in your life right now. 
Projecting strength without a smile will come across as arrogant, and not what you want. Smiling also inherently makes you feel better and more confident. If you make eye contact with someone, give them a smile, it’s contagious. 


When talking to someone, make eye contact. Try and hold the contact just a little longer than comfortable. In modern society, we feel uncomfortable looking someone in the eye for a period of time, be the man who doesn't have this problem.
Make yourself heard, without forcing it. No one ever said to Don Draper, "Excuse me, could you speak up, Don?” It may seem uncomfortable at first, but soon it will become second nature to you. 


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