Present Yourself for Success
You are being judged. Whether it is in social media, in your employment or in your everyday life, you are sending a message and being judged. If you present well, the message you send is one of confidence, credibility and competence. You want people to look at you favourably and have trust in you as a person. This is your brand which tells people who you are and in turn, reflects on your employer and organisation. Ultimately, you want people to talk positively about you and your organisation.
Taking it a step further, you could potentially be presenting your brand to a future employer, client or investor. Your initial presentation is a lasting one so you want to start on the right foot. What do you want your brand to say about you?
The following are a few tips to help you make that lasting impression:
- Smile – having a nice smile projects an image of happiness and confidence. People are drawn to your smile because it makes them feel good and engages them. As the saying goes, smile and the world smiles with you.
- Personal Grooming – good grooming should be a part of your daily routine. If you present an image that is unkempt and unhealthy, your brand is saying that you don’t care and don’t have attention to detail.
- Clothing – dress appropriately for the brand you want to present. You wouldn’t wear a business suit if you were a plumber and you wouldn’t wear overalls if you were a businessman. Investing in the right clothes is investing in yourself.
- Confidence – be confident, without being smug or cocky. Confidence plays a huge role on the image you present. People are naturally drawn to confidence and equate it with success, strength and knowledge.
- Humour – having a good sense of humour is not about telling jokes or being the life of the party. It’s about being able to laugh through the tough times and bring the best out of the people around you. Make people feel good and they will gravitate towards you.
- Listening – let’s face it, it’s not all about you. Being able to actively listen will present a brand that you care about what the person has to say. Listening shows that you understand and that they can trust your commitment to them. Active listening also helps prevent miscommunication and prevents errors.
- Eye Contact – there is a fine line between good eye contact and positive eye contact. You don’t want to appear creepy by staring for too long but you don’t want to come across as incompetent and withdrawn. Good eye contact presents an image of understanding, sincerity, integrity and interest in what a person is communicating. Please note that to some cultures it is considered as rude and a sign of disrespect to maintain eye contact so be mindful of your audience.
- Body Language – your body language is a crucial part of your brand. With easy access to the internet, everyone believes they are body language experts. It doesn’t matter if you cover you mouth when you talk because you’re self-conscious about your teeth, people will assume you are not telling the truth. Scratching you arm could come across as being nervous or unsure, even though you just have an itch. So what can you do? Do your best to minimise negative body language.
- Don’t yawn when someone is speaking
- Avoid slouching, leaning with your elbows on the table or your head propped up by your hand
- Try to avoid bad habits like tapping or shuffling your feet
- Don’t keep checking the time.
- Appreciate that people have personal space and try not to stand too close to the person
- Avoid crossing your arms
Some of these suggestions may not come effortlessly to you but with practice, they can become natural and the brand you present to the world can only benefit.
Kerri Schulz | HR Manager | The Money Edge | Bundaberg