Proper, Polished, and Poised for the New Year:
10 Tips to Help You Perfect Your Personal Brand
1. Be open and confident.
When it comes to making the first impression, body language, as well as appearance, speaks louder than words. Use your body language to project appropriate confidence and self-assurance. Stand tall, smile, make eye contact, and shake hands with a firm grip.
2. Dress appropriately and stylishly for all occasions; and always be well-groomed.
You should look appropriate for your environment and authentic to you. Being trendy is not important, but being current with accessories, especially shoes, color, and fashion accents indicates you are aware of what is fashionable.
“Good grooming is not just about making a polished first impression,” writes Sylvia Ann Hewlett in her book Executive Presence. “It is about signaling to your competitors, and yourself, that you are in total control.” When your nails are chipped, your shoes are scuffed, or your clothes are wrinkled, it is impossible to make a good impression.
3. Introduce yourself and others with warmth and enthusiasm.
Always prepare a self-introduction before going to a meeting or event. Say your name slowly and clearly, making eye contact when you introduce yourself. When introducing others, be sure to follow the rules for proper introductions, and always add something about each person to aid them in starting a conversation.
4. Be courteous.
In our modern world, how you treat others and your actions affect how people view you. Being thoughtful and thinking of others will never go out of style. When you are kind and have good manners, treat others as you would like to be treated, and make other people feel good about themselves, other people want to be around you. Studies show that women value kindness above looks as the most important quality for a man to have
5. Build rapport for better relationships.
People like people like themselves. Try to establish a feeling that you are on the same wavelength when trying to build rapport with a new person. Pick up on key words, favorite phrases, and ways of speaking that someone uses, and build them subtly into your own conversation. Adopt a similar stance to them in terms of your body language, gestures, voice tone and speed. It is called “mirroring” and “matching.”
6. Master the art of small talk and making polite conversation.
Always have something to say. Be informed. Know a little about a lot of things. Appropriate topics of conversation include news events, sports, cultural events, entertainment, travel, hobbies, etc.
7. Listen and show genuine interest in others.
People like people who find them interesting. Nothing is more flattering to another person or wins more friends than someone who listens to them. It’s the secret of weapon of the charmers.
“And above all, really focus on what is being said to you,” advises Heidi Grant Halvorson in No One Understands You and What to Do About It. “People need to feel they have been heard, even when you can’t give them what they are asking for.”
8. Convey warmth and competence.
According to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, perceptions of warmth and competence account for roughly 90 percent of the variability in whether you are perceived positively or negatively by others. Research shows eye contact, nodding, and smiling are the three key physical indicators of warmth.
9. Sharpen your dining skills and table manners.
Let’s face it: We are judged by our table manners and we judge others by their table manners. Persons sitting at or near our table cannot help but notice our table manners or lack of them. If our table manners are good, they will judge us favorably; and if our table manners are poor, they will judge us unfavorably.
10. Build an authentic, honest, and compelling brand.
What defines you? What makes you unique? What is your highest value? Be that person on a consistent basis. Reinforce your brand at every opportunity—both online and offline. According to Sally Hogshead in Project Fascination, “To be more successful, you don’t have to change who you are, you only have to be more of what you are at your best.”
Wishing you a happy, healthy, productive 2018! May all your wishes for the new year come true!
Blog Updated December 2017