Projecting a positive image & attitude will play a huge role in taking your business to the next level. When I speak of your image, I am not suggesting you wear expensive clothes & lots of jewelry to impress everyone you come in contact with but to project your confidence not only in yourself but in your business. There is a well known saying, “clothes make the man”, this includes women as well. No matter what our lifestyle we should all take pride in the image we are trying to project to the rest of the world. This would include good manners, our demeanor and the way we carry ourselves. Some individuals seem to be born to look regal. Their walk is distinctive as they stride with their head held high, shoulders back which makes them exude confidence. How we present ourselves to others is part of our image. When people see us walk into a room we are making an impression upon those who are watching. Our body language is projecting to them confident, insecure, happy, sad, etc.
How do you want people to see you?
Are you sending out signals that you are untouchable? Not a good thing if you are in sales or if you are starting your own business. You want to project that you are a professional. So smile, have eye contact with those around you and project the image that you are the one who can help them. If someone has a bad experience with you, regardless of personal or professional environment, its unfortunate but bad news travels so much faster than good news. The golden rule works wonders, treat others as you would want to be treated. You never know who that new face in your office is, or who they may know. How you act and how you treat other people are part of your image.
Our body language (our non-verbal gestures) says a lot about us. Invest in a full-length mirror, they are relatively inexpensive. Stand on the other side of the room and walk towards it. Do you walk with your head up or do you stare at your shoes? When I was a teenager, I walked with my head down all the time. I had low self-esteem. It wasn’t until I got into modeling classes that I learned to walk with confidence. Practice walking if you have to, I did.
Are you smiling? When you smile it tells the world that you are approachable. When you are introduced to someone for the first time shake their hand firmly, make sure it’s not a timid shake and not too strong. Smile at them and look directly into their eyes and say “It’s so nice to meet you!” It never hurts to do a grooming check as well. How is your breath? I always carry mints on me just in case. I also carry dental floss, yes dental floss. I attend so many lunch meetings and always make a quick break to the ladies room to floss my pearly whites. Nothing says embarrassment like a huge piece of spinach right between your front teeth while making a presentation. Are you a gum fan? Unless you are under twenty, I suggest you drop the habit. When you sit down to talk with someone, whether it is in an interview or meeting among colleague’s posture is important. Again, you don’t want to come across as timid or that you would rather not be in their presence.
Remember they are reading your body language so watch your moves. Ladies should sit up straight, crossing the legs over at the ankles so they are resting on one another. Gentlemen should sit back, hands resting on the chair arms or on your legs. Don’t fidget with your hands let them rest comfortably. You will appear nervous if you constantly fidget. If someone asks you a question or is making conversation in general, make sure you look them in the eye while you speak to them.
Kerry Heaps is Owner of Omega Image, an image consulting firm specializing in Color Analysis for men and women. Visit our site to get our top 10 tips for looking your best everyday. http://omegaimage.com/image.html#tips