Speaking of your appearance, do both of us a favor and go to a museum or art gallery. Be sure to note how the lights, displays and pedestals are focused on the main feature. This is good presentation of the artwork. This high quality, attentive focus highlights the product. It influences you to think it’s highly valued and worth coveting.
In business, you are the product. And you need to spend as much attentive focus on presenting yourself as well as art pieces are presented in galleries.
Fashion trends in business come and go, but to maintain authority in your business, wear darker colors. You’ll appear more fashionable as well as more powerful. This has a lot to do with color psychology: darker colors such as black, gray and charcoal represent mystery, timelessness and power.
In The 48 Laws of Power, author Robert Greene reveals how people with high expectations make a self-fulfilling prophecy for themselves. “If we believe we are destined for great things,” he says, “our belief will radiate outward, just as a crown creates an aura around a king. This outward radiance will infect the people around us, who will think we must have reasons to feel so confident.”
People like confidence. Children look up to confident adults. Customers give confident businesses their money. People enjoy buying from confident salespeople. Confidence is attractive. And choosing darker-colored fashion gives you a more confident appearance.
Different industries require different dress codes. For example, you’d never show up in a t-shirt and jeans at lawyer’s office. Just as you’d attract a lot of stares by wearing a business suit to a guitar store. Take the time to match your appearance to your industry and your company’s dress code. If you don’t, your managers and colleagues will wonder if you truly belong, putting the fabric of your job on the line.
How often do you notice people’s feet and hands? Often, and you can be sure they notice yours. Take care of your fingernails and toenails by getting regular manicures and pedicures. Otherwise, you’ll be sending out the message that you don’t pay attention to small details in your work.
Nobody in the world looks good in clothes that don’t fit. A proper fit not only flatters your physique, but makes you look competent at the same time. Tailors can take care of clothes that are too big, but the problem of buying too-small clothes remains. Measuring yourself fixes that. Plus, you’ll save money because you won’t have to take your clothes to the tailor.
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Messy hair is rarely appealing in business, and bedhead is never appropriate in public settings. When you’re in a jam and you need a quick fix, wet a comb and comb your hair from roots to ends. Better yet, treat your head to a stylish cut that looks good no matter what.
It’s a sad fact that wrinkles and lines in our faces make us look older. While we can’t always fight every effect of time, there are a number of skin care products that can help to restore youthful skin. While it may not be fair, people generally think of younger-looking people as having more energy and enthusiasm as well as a stronger work ethic.
For whatever reason, people have short attention spans these days. We are all busy people, and part of presenting yourself professionally means developing a sixth sense for respecting people’s time.
Half the art of conquering appearances is mastering preparation. Think about Hollywood A-listers and how much time they spend rehearsing their lines. Similarly, draw up scenarios that could happen in your life, and prepare responses to them. This is an extraordinary tactic that will allow you never to feel off-balance, even when you’re meeting with the person who signs your paychecks.
Nearly everyone knows by now that smiling increases the flow of feel-good hormones in our bodies. These hormones calm us down and reduce anxiety. Smiling also shows confidence and enthusiasm. So when you’re out in public, look people in the eye and smile.
Another way to stay calm is by pumping yourself up. Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm by giving yourself a vigorous pep talk, and you’ll lose the nerve-wracking jitters. People love enthusiasm, as it literally is contagious. This is a handy skill to nurture, because staying calm while everybody else is freaking out will keep you on top of the situation. And that’s the skill head managers are made of.
Presenting yourself well means engaging audiences, even if it’s an audience of only one. Storytellers have woven tales and anecdotes into their conversations since the dawn of time. That’s because humans crave stories.
“Most people live in gray worlds devoid of stories,” writes legendary copywriter John Carlton in his book Entrepreneur’s Guide to Getting Your Sh** Together. He goes on to say, “They are too self-contained and unaware to see the action swirling around them. They are bored, sad to have missed out on the party, and convinced all hope for a better life is lost. Then YOU arrive… and yeah!… suddenly here are tales to get their blood moving and their imagination fired up and their dreams rekindled.”
How you present yourself to your business and the world determines how others perceive your performance. Just imagine, for example, walking into a restaurant and seeing crumbs on the floor, smelling a rank odor, and encountering an obviously bored waiter. Wouldn’t you immediately judge the quality of the food there? The same concept applies to your appearance. Your appearance affects how others perceive you.
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