Do You Have Presence?
Are you projecting a professional image?
There is more to having the right professional image for personal and business success than just wearing a great fitting pair of pants or looking like Wonder Woman. Although you should never underestimate the importance of donning the perfect fit, colors and styles that flatter you the most, remember also that presence is required.
Presence def: the impressive manner or appearance of a person.
A while back, I had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Carroll speak to a group of women entrepreneurs. Mr. Carroll is a professional speaker, trainer and facilitator. He teaches people how to be better problem solvers and how to get their messages across clearly, concisely and confidently.
When I heard him speak, he clearly communicated to the group the importance of not only the clothes you wear, but how your body language, tone and speed of your speech affects the message that you are sending to your superior, coworkers clients, family, and friends. The way you are perceived is key to how one finds success and happiness in all aspects of life.
Here are a few of the facts that Kevin Carroll shared with those of us who were fortunate enough to attend his presentation on Leadership Presence:
Others judge us within 20 seconds of meeting us.
In a job interview, 90% of the decision whether or not to hire is made within the first three minutes.
A study by Clairol found that companies projected salaries up to 20% higher based on a job applicant’s appearance.
How you say something is as important as what you say.
Power and status are established very early in any relationship. People judge us based upon their perception of us, and that is based upon the image we project (how we look, act and sound) which is directly related to our nonverbal behaviors. When we are perceived as being highly competent as well as highly likable, we maximize our ability to persuade, influence and lead.
Presenting your best image includes many aspects, such as how you dress, smile, shake hands, stand, and speak, eye contact and even your table manners. In other words, it takes the whole package to get the respect, job, salary, and interest of those you are trying to get to pay attention to you and the message you are sending out.
Your presence reflects who you are, and in business the image you project is your virtual resume and business card.
So how can you be sure that you are putting your best self forward? Begin by dressing in clothes that work for your personality, lifestyle and body shape. Notice how when you are dressed in flattering and well- fitting clothes that you start to not only look, but also feel more confident. You will then find yourself standing straighter, smiling brighter, speaking with a more confident voice, and sending out a very positive and welcoming message.
Perhaps you can try videotaping yourself speaking, or talk to yourself in the mirror, so you can see what type of presence you are projecting. Note how your clothes are fitting, how you are standing, speaking, hand movements, and where you eyes travel. Do you appear insubstantial or impressive? What do you see that can be improved?
Just by changing your wardrobe choices and posture, you can transform your current presence. As an Image Consultant, it is my job and mission to show my clients how they can improve how they look and feel, and nothing makes me happier than when I see how people’s eyes brighten when they like what they see in their mirror.
You sell confidence – it is the result of working with you. I felt very confident today that I looked good. While how you look is not everything it is a huge part of what we say to the people we meet about who we are, what we do and how we feel about ourselves….You take the guess work out of that.” Mindy Kannon