Half of life is just showing up. When in doubt, go. Go to seminars, non-profit events, lectures at museums, interest groups, funerals-show up.
Determine just how you want to show up. Different life events require different demeanors: Respectful, approachable, interested, confident, quiet, etc.
The practice of Impression Management is a relatively new buzzword with a not-so-new concept: Pay attention to your demeanor and appearance. Others certainly do. Go with the attitude of a team player, a giver. The Irish say a good guest needs to ring the doorbell with an elbow because the arms are holding a gift.
What is it about people who have “IT?” They connect. If you hovered above yourself, would you be impressed? How pleasant are you to be with? Fifty-five per cent of our communication is our appearance. It takes only seconds for others to evaluate you.
Optimize your presentation:
* The way you dress and groom is either a compliment or insult to your host/employer. Shaving for gentlemen, and makeup for women is not optional.
* Be informed about your host/client.
* Be on time.
* Enter a room with confidence, not trepidation, arrogance or false humility, and then pause.
* Be yourself. Relax.
* Do not approach a group of two.
* Lighten up. Appropriate humor at the right time is always a plus.
* Make eye contact for a millisecond longer than is comfortable.
* If there are less than six people, shake everyone’s hand. Firmly.
* If there are more than six people, shake approximately five hands, then nod and smile at the others.
* Maintain an erect but approachable posture.
* Speak clearly from the diaphragm with correct grammar.
* Be curious, and not necessarily toward the business at hand.
* Be aware of nervous habits and try to control them. No one wants to hear a nervous laugh or the jingling of coins in your pocket.
* Be present. Mobile phones should be out of sight.
* Do not offer unsolicited advice.
* Collecting/distributing cards at business events is more appropriate than social events. Never hand out more than one card unless asked.
* Be gracious, not a troublemaker. Never make an issue out of mistakes, poor service or rudeness.
Having said this, remember to be yourself and aim to cover the basics. No one gets it all right all the time. Pay attention, and others will too.
The next installment, Speak Up, will be featured in our January edition.