While the sentiment “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” is certainly true, in the world of professional communication, the “outside” needs to be given careful consideration as well. Studies have shown that people make decisions and form opinions about others within the first 30 seconds of meeting them. During this short window of time, your appearance and the message it communicates go a long way toward creating a positive, professional first impression.
Dress for Success: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” is a common piece of advice. Although dress codes have become increasingly relaxed in recent years, if you want to project a strong, professional image, resist the temptation to favor comfort over professionalism. Even on “casual Fridays” or other events that call for business casual attire, err on the side of dressing too formally rather than too casually.
Stand up Straight: Posture plays a significant role in how others perceive us. Try to make a habit of checking in with yourself on a regular basis to note how you’re standing or sitting. A slumped posture can indicate insecurity, incompetence, or just plain laziness. Standing and sitting with strong posture will project an image of confidence, professionalism, and control.
Grooming: Remember: your personal appearance isn’t just your clothing. Personal hygiene and grooming contribute greatly to your overall image.
Do you have a story to share about personal appearance in the workplace? Join the conversation and share in our comments section. Stay tuned: next week we’ll continue the discussion on professional appearance with a fascinating study showing how appearance can affect your income.
If you want to boost your business communication skills, give us a call at 917-841-2965 or visit our website at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com and find out how a corporate speech-language pathologist can improve your communication and your career! Don’t live in NYC? No problem! Our services are Skype ready.
Don’t forget: on January 24, CSS President and founder Jayne Latz will give another exciting presentation: Public Speaking Made Easy. Visit http://www.corporatespeechsolutions.com/events/public-speaking-easy/ for more information.