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Friday, February 18, 2011

The Power of Introductions

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 
~ Confucius

You know what I always find hardest when it comes to writing? The introduction. It seems that whenever I have an idea to write about something, I encounter the most trouble in that section - the introduction. It’s the starting that’s the most difficult and the deciding factor if the piece makes it to keeps or is discarded with a touch of the delete icon. Maybe that’s because I place a lot of emphasis on it – the introduction. And why not? Introductions are of utmost importance yet are often overlooked. They have the power to make or break a piece and even put people off totally from reading what you have to say. But this doesn’t just apply to writing. A good introduction affects just about anything and leaves a lasting impression. Observe.

First dates

Dialogue: “Hi, really glad to meet you. You look great.”
Gestures: [winning smile]


Dialogue: “Hey. Glad to meet you.”
Gestures: [yawning] [scratching]

Job Interviews

Dialogue: “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Gestures: [confident smile and handshake]


Dialogue: “Pleasure to meet you.”
Gestures: [stammering] [timid handshake]

Meeting Your Future-in-Laws For the First Time Over Dinner

Dialogue: “Hello Auntie, Uncle. It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for inviting me to dinner.”
Gestures: [winning smile]


Dialogue: “Hello Auntie, Uncle. It’s nice to meet you.”
Gestures: [nervous smile]

Now while I only focused on only two aspects in a physical introduction – dialogue and gesticulations, it’s obviously apparent just how a bad introduction could drastically affect a good message.

And so it is with writing. Dive straight into a topic and some people may get lost and click the back or close icon of their browser. Write too long an introduction and risk people zoning out. Close browser. Write a weak introduction and have people label the article “boring” while skimming over the words, trying to absorb without understanding. Click back. No, that simply doesn’t work. If you’ve something to say and you want people to hear you, a good introduction is key. Click back and close browser must not be an option.

It’s said that impressions are made in the first 5 seconds from the time two people meet each other. I believe that also applies in writing. Note to self: Click back and close browser must not be an option.

Repeat: Click back and close browser must not be an option.



  1. You got my attention!

    Interesting post. I never thought about the first impression my blog is sending..... No wonder majority of my visitors stay less than 1 second!? Ha ha!


  2. You got my attention!

    Hmmm. Now I know why majority of the visitors to my blog spend less than 1 second:

    Click back and close browser!?

    It's my dilemma too. But I think I will stick with being myself. Short term first impressions count; but long term, it's character that counts.

  3. Haha

    So true SML, character counts. Keep on posting. =)


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