From the Journal of the S.O.B.:

Image may not be everything, but it’s darn important. Of course, a lot has to do with what you do, where you live and how you want to be perceived. Living in Florida, people are pretty casual. They shop in jeans, shorts, leggings and sometimes even bathing suits if they’re near a  beach. Up north, they are always bundled up and often wearing boots.

My first business was in the modeling and fashion industry, so the latest looks were always on the line.  When speaking full time I was always in suits and now working from home, it’s casual. However, your aura, friendliness, ability to carry on a conversation, having a variety of interests, showing an infectious smile–all contribute to people wanting to be around you. And if someone asks you about yourself, you should be able to articulate a statement that makes them stop short, widen their eyes and say “Tell me more.”

Fortunately or unfortunately, people form an impression of you within about 30 seconds (or less) of meeting you. They will decide whether to listen to what you have to say or not and you can spend the rest of your life trying to change their perception or you can make sure your image is right in the first place.

Here’s how:

  1. Your appearance is the first thing noticed so make sure it’s appropriate.
  2. Look at people directly to establish rapport and credibility.
  3. Make sure your voice is well modulated.
  4. Walk with authority.
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