It’s those little things too many people brush aside, but it’s so important to understand how your attitude and body language can affect your everyday business interactions.
Here are my top three tips on how to present the best version of ‘you’.
Understand your body language
We all know that your body language can heavily impact how you see yourself, but it can also really affect how others perceive you. You’re unlikely to present well to others if you don’t believe in yourself!
Whether it be your engagements in business, how you show yourself when going for a job interview or your interactions with your peers, it’s essential that you understand your body language and what it communicates about you.
Do you come across as a strong-willed person? Are you a bit shy and submissive? Or do you burst with enthusiasm like me!?
Take time to look at your stance in front of the mirror and be open to making adjustments and improvements.
If you slump in your chair, make a concerted effort to sit straighter (it’s better for your back too!) and if you stand proud; continue to do so! One of the most off-putting things a person can do is converse with crossed arms – you’ll only appear grumpy and angry, or even worse, disinterested. To me, crossed arms say “I don’t want to talk to you”.
It’d be foolish to assume that everyone is confident and super-outgoing; we all know that some people don’t like the limelight… and that’s OK. It’s important that you recognise your own inhibitions and take steps to overcome them. Implement a few simple things that increase your confidence, like sticking to a routine or writing yourself some motivational notes.
Put your best foot forward
The way you present yourself is of the utmost importance, and can be the determining factor between whether you appear capable or incompetent. You need to dress for success!
You wouldn’t go out on a Saturday night in your tracksuit, so you should take the same approach when dressing for work. It’s absolutely paramount to take pride in your appearance and what you wear. I believe that if you look sharp in business, your interactions are more likely to follow suit.
I equate this to packaging, as often the packaging sells the product. If it’s good, neat and eye-catching, the product is secondary.
This isn’t to say you have to spend a fortune on an expensive suit, or buying the latest workplace gadget; it’s about simply taking pride in your appearance, taking yourself seriously and encouraging others to do the same. There’s a lot to be said for clean shoes and an ironed shirt; small things like this get noticed, so take the time to care.
Confidence doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but you can train yourself to be more self-assured. Think of animals in the wild; birds fluff their feathers and push out their chest. Fake it till you make it!
Put any negative voices aside and remember if you don’t ask – you don’t get. Not giving something a ‘go’ is much worse than failing. Take a plunge and ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”
Get a mentor. Find someone you admire for his or her confidence, and mirror their actions. Speak to them and ask squestions (tricky ones too!), and find out about their values and beliefs. Learn what they’re good at and not so good at, discover how they’re assertive and take steps to change the way you think and act.
In reality, it’s the survival of the fittest… so if you appear to be the weakest link, you’ve got the least chance for success.
About the author
Stan Gordon is the CEO of Franchised Food Company, the umbrella company encompassing the brands Cold Rock Ice Creamery, Mr Whippy, Pretzel World and Nutshack. For info about owning your very own franchise visit http://www.ffco.com.au/buy-a-franchise.html