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PERSONAL IMAGE
Small Change, Big Impact

AVOID IMAGE KILLERS

Each of us has our own unique image – hence, our Personal Image.  Whether at work or at play, people will judge us like a book, and our personal image speaks to them in just about 30 seconds.

Our image comprises of three components:  The way we Look, Walk and Talk; and a major part of how our image communicate with others is through our physical appearance.

In this article, let us explore five simple tips that can help us change (or improve) our image through our appearance:
Make-up

For ladies who are comfortable under their own skin and are not bothered about putting on any make-up, it would be wise to consider keeping your skin clean and well-moisturised.  Those holding a higher position should consider applying some light make-up as it helps to project a more appropriate image for someone in a position of authority.  Remember, keep the heavy make-up and wild colours for the evenings.
Creased shirts
Hair

For men and women, hair care (lack of it) takes the top spot (as it takes the same spot on our body) in sabotaging our personal image.  At work, hairstyle should be kept simple, neat and tidy.  Ladies, just leave that big, voluminous hairdo for a sexy night out.
Avoid creased shirts

Well-iron shirt : Nothing projects ‘sloppiness’ than an unironed or badly-creased shirt.  Gentlemen, if you loathe ironing your work shirts, make sure you shop for some new ones (that of non-crease fabric).
Personal hygiene

It goes without saying that we have to maintain good personal hygiene.  Bad breath and body odour are two nasty brothers of image killers.
Neckline and hemline

Ladies, if you want to be taken seriously, watch the neckline and hemline of your clothes.  Avoid sending the wrong message with those low, plunging necklines and keep your shortest hemline to two (2) inches above your knees.

GENERAL DINING ETIQUETTE

•  As a general rule, we should start our meal using the dining implements which are set in front of us, from outside-in.
•  The bread plate is placed on the left and glasses to the right.
•  The number of utensils present in the setting will represent the number of dishes or courses to be served.
• The napkin should be placed on the lap. If you need to go to the washroom, place your napkin on your vacated chair. At the end of the meal, 
    simply place the napkin on the left of your plate (not neatly folded).
•  If you are nearest to the bread basket, take it and proffer the bread to the person on your left. Then, take bread for yourself before passing the
    basket to the person on your right.
•  Take a small amount of butter from the butter dish onto your side plate. The bread should always be broken by hand and not cut using the butter
    knife.
•  Sip your soup silently from the side of your spoon. Do not blow your soup to cool it and scoop it in an outwards motion.
•  Do not wrap your hands into fists when handling the fork or knife and never saw or stab your food.
•  Cut your food into bite-size morsels and eat. Do not cut your food into numerous pieces before eating.
•  Do not place used cutlery on the tablecloth.
•  Do not blow your nose at the table: if you must, simply excuse yourself and retire to the washroom.
•  Salt and pepper shakers should be kept together and not separated. If someone asks for one, pass them both.
DINING ETIQUETTE

The world has become a smaller place: international travel and trading have provided opportunities to meet and interact with people from other countries, cultures, environments and lifestyles.  Coupled with this, we are able to experience cuisines from all over the world.

In today’s culturally-diverse economy, cross-cultural differences will impact on how we conduct ourselves and our businesses.   Knowing  and  appreciating  the  differing  values,  etiquette and  the “do’s” and the “don’ts” of different
Dining Etiquette
cultures, will positively influence our travel experience and business success.  This increased awareness will avoid misinterpretations and misunderstandings, reducing the risk of causing offense and consequent unwanted repercussions.

When visiting a foreign country, it is useful to consider the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  There is no excuse for appearing to be ill-informed or ignorant travellers. C As a matter of respect for our hosts, it behoves us  to make every effort to acquire appropriate knowledge of the local social and dining etiquette.  Assuming that appropriate effort has been made to impress through personal grooming and image, this can be further enhanced by such knowledge.  So, if you are travelling for business or pleasure, make sure you observe some basic, general dining etiquette.
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PERSONAL IMAGE
Is more than just the clothes you wear

DEPORTMENT, POISE AND BODY LANGUAGE

Like any product or service, WE, too, need a special brand for ourselves - it’s called ME. We need to create an identity, a positive recognition for our qualities, skills and ability.  By projecting our personal brand, we will not only be seen, but be noticed by the people around us, in both professional and social situations.

When we project a positive personal image, we will find that more doors of opportunities opening for us.  However, we must be able to create impact on the first impressions that we give to others.

First Impressions are lasting impressions, and one almost never gets a second chance to create a good first impression.  The fact remains that people will judge us like a book (within 10 to 30 of seeing us) - based on the way we:

·Look (how well-groomed or well-dressed we are),
·Walk (our deportment, poise and body language we project to others) and how we
·Talk (voice, tone, pitch and our ‘lingo’).

Being well-groomed and well-dressed alone does not complete a positive personal image.  We need to know how to carry and conduct ourselves with confidence and poise by the way we stand, sit and walk - and not forgetting, minding the body language that we project to others. 

Body Language is a universal language, more than 50% of what others “receive” from our communication is through the visual, non-verbal message that we send out.  Remember the old “silent” movies?  There was no audio or sound, yet people can still understand and enjoy the story.

If we could just learn and apply basic body language, this could help us understand someone better, or manage a situation well enough to get the response that we want.  For example, being able to read basic body language could help us at business meetings or in a negotiation process, winning a job interview or even in building a personal relationship. 

Read more -  FREE tips on how you can learn and improve your communication with others through body language covering the following:

· The Language of Postures - Deportment & Poise
     - Walking, Standing and Sitting Postures

· The Language of Gestures

· The Language of Smile

· The Language of Eye Contact