Confident Personal Communications

Module 3

Click to read the script of the module

“Consider this, how do you make a confident first impression? Think about that for a moment? . . . Let me propose that people will make judgements about you first – through your grooming, dress, body posture, gestures and facial expressions.

We are a visual society first, and what we see, forms our first impressions. You need to pay attention to your personal, visual presentation in order to leave a positive first impression.

Here are the Key messages for this Module:

  1. Whatever can be seen or heard will be seen or heard, and will form an impression.
  2. Find a trusted person who agrees to give you private feedback when observed, on the following first impressions checklist.

‘Below are 10 key items of the first impressions checklist. At the end of this Module there is link to a complete 37 item checklist

First Impressions Checklist – 10 top items

Have a trusted confidant readily give you private feedback when observed:

  1. Poor breath and/or body odour?
  2. Food on teeth?
  3. Slumped posture while standing or sitting?
  4. Clothing that is wrinkled/unironed or re-used from the prior day?
  5. Shoes that are not shined?
  6. Ill-fitting clothes. Clothes that are too loose or too tight?
  7. Dated or tattered clothes and accessories?
  8. Personal grooming that needs attention. For example, finger nails, nasal hair?
  9. For men, new hairstyle needed, due to comb-over or thinning hair?
  10. For women, distracting or inappropriate jewellery?

Now to be clear I’m not suggesting that you go out and spend a lot of money and buy new clothes and accessories. I do suggest, that you reflect on a person one level above your role in your organisation or on a peer whose physical presentation and dress you admire.

Consider how you can learn from that person’s presentation standard, and then adapt it, to your physical presentation and dress. That might mean at some point  that you buy a new shirt or a new folder or satchel.

As you progress in your career always reflect on what your physical presentation and dress is conveying about you.

Key Message

  1. Whatever can be seen or heard will be seen or heard, and will form an impression.
  2. Find a trusted person who agrees to give you private feedback when observed on the First impressions checklist.
Your tasks

To do right now, or to complete within the next 30 minutes:

Take another look at the first impressions list at the end of the Module. Pause the clip and read through the list

Choose one area that you believe you could improve in your personal presentation. Perhaps you might consider a hair style. Maybe your trousers are threadbare and need to be replaced. Perhaps your shoes need resoling.

After you’ve chosen an area, make a diary entry to go ask one of your trusted persons for their view on the area.

You may not decide to do anything. However, you might make a calendar note for a later date to check-up on your physical presentation. Another thing you can do is use your iPad or other device to video record yourself when you next deliver a presentation, and then watch the playback.

Just realising that whatever can be seen or heard, and will form an impression, will alert you to areas that you might want to change in the future.

What else could you do to put into practice ideas from this Module? Take 13 seconds to see if an idea pops up. Maybe watch the Module again if you have time.