How to Achieve a Professional Presence
It’s true what they say about first impressions. Not only are they vitally important, but we really do have only one chance to make the one we want to. When it comes to business and professionalism, making the right impression is even more important, and developing a strong professional presence is the key to doing things right. Here’s how to cultivate one that commands the respect you deserve.
Dress the Part
How you choose to present yourself to the rest of the world tells people a lot about you, so you’ll definitely want to make sure you’re sending the right message. Professionals who are serious about making a good impression dress the part. A meticulous, put-together appearance tells onlookers that you’re a force to be reckoned with and that you can be trusted with serious responsibility.
A polished, well-cultivated appearance also helps you fully embody professionalism. For instance, the very act of wearing a tailored suit or any other ensemble you personally associate with concepts like success and power boosts your confidence, which in turn can give your performance a boost as well.
Speaking of confidence, it’s just as important to feel the part as it is to look it. A professional presence is one that’s cool, collected, and confident to the utmost. If you don’t quite feel you fit the role yet, you should take a page out of the experts’ book and “fake it ‘til you make it”.
Studies show that even the simple act of adopting a power pose or mimicking the confident strut of a winner actually stimulates real feelings of confidence. Try spending a few minutes of power posing before your next important appointment or boardroom meeting. You’ll feel ready to take on the world in no time.
Hone Your Interpersonal Instincts
Successful people are more than just confident go-getters with great business instincts. They’re experts at reading other people, anticipating their needs, and managing their own responses to events. They’re stellar communicators as well, so take your professional presence to the next level by brushing up on your people skills.
Those that have mastered the fine art of professionalism let others have the floor and speak their minds first. They make eye contact, are good listeners, and stay completely focused on others when involved in a conversation. When it’s their turn to speak, they use confident, determined language that leaves no room for misunderstanding. Start consciously doing the same when you talk to other people. It won’t be long before you notice a big difference in how you’re treated. That’s the power of professional presence at work!