Business woman and business man shaking hands outdoors --- Image by © Matt Bird/Corbis

Last month I was given the privilege to speak at a business networking group for women. The topic – ‘being and looking great in business’.

We started with what words would mean a lot to them given by someone else to describe their personal presentation if they were to overhear. Here are some of the words that were important to the group. Elegant, professional, approachable, friendly and warm.

These words are easy enough to come up with as they sound great, however, in business one needs to absolutely reflect and look like the ‘words’ that are important to them. When we reflect these words others will take us more seriously, more likely listen to us, and then do business with us.

Then we moved onto the meaning of ‘image’ and why it’s so important when we’re doing business day to day.

What Is Image?

Your image is solely dependent on how you perceive yourself and what you think of you! It’s how you want to represent yourself & ultimately be perceived! It’s also what you want others to believe about you.

Business Tips

Why is it important?

Because first impressions are made within the blink of an eye of meeting someone due to the current fast pace and competitive world we live in. Particularly in business as 55% is based on our visual communication – such as: appearance (clothes, hair and overall grooming) body language, posture and eye contact.

And because it is possible to sabotage or create opportunities with our image and personal presentation. It’s also vitally important to project unique and positive messages about our self. We need to be our self, but our best self!

Our image and personal presentation however, should be an ongoing process and line up with our current goals . This may mean we have to up-date and modernize our wardrobe items and personal grooming I.e hair and makeup.

Remember also – when we look our best, we feel our best!

Fashion and clothing are just the tool or vehicle we use to bring about good personal presentation, which ultimately reveals your personal style through the clothes you wear.

My five top tips for making a very good first impression and impact on others in business.

1. A good firm and genuine hand shake…people will assume that you’re happy to meet them and ready to engage with them.

2. Name badge placed just under your right shoulder…as we shake hands with our right hand the eye will travel up the arm seeing your name and then associating it with your face.

3. Great eye contact…will tell the person you are interested, engaged and listening to them.

4. Huge genuine smile…will put people at ease and you’ll appear more confident, hence more likable.

5. Wear business logo colours…this shows like-mindedness and that you are serious about the company you run or work for.

Hand shake

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