By Angela Marshall, 12th Feb 2015
The world has become smaller as people travel more whether it is for pleasure or business. Businesses have to be more competitive therefore it is more important than ever to present yourself in a positive way and giving the right first impression can make the difference between being taken seriously or not. We all subconsciously make a judgement about one another within the first few seconds. 55% is on the way we look, 38% is on the way we sound and only 7% is on the words we say. It is, therefore, vitally important we “look and act the part”.
Looking the Part
When we consistently dress well and are well groomed we look the part, stand out from the crowd and command attention in a positive way. It has a doubly positive effect as it helps us to feel good as well as promoting a positive response from others.
Actors often say “When you put on the right clothes it helps you to become the part”. Always think about ‘your part’ where you are going, what type of business you are in, how you wish to come across and then decide which clothes you are going to wear. A successful dresser finds a distinctive way of dressing that is appropriate for what they do and is a true reflection of their personality.
Projecting a Professional Image:
Dealing with people as part of your job means you need to have good people skills as much as technical skills. People will assume that you know your job but what they are going to “buy” is you. To communicate well it is important to have the three “As.” To be approachable, accountable and accessible and to have five key qualities: competence, credibility, control, confidence and consistency.
- Ensure you are well groomed and well dressed.
- Look in the mirror and assess what you see. Be dispassionate and look as though you were looking at a stranger.
- Walk in with confidence and have positive body language.
- Be well mannered.
- Remember to smile. A genuine smile is a great asset: it’s friendly, disarming and confident.
- Inspire the belief in others that you can do the job.
- Deliver what you say you can.
By Angela Marshall, 5th Feb 2015
A variety of people have left messages for me to call back and increasingly I have noticed that I can hardly catch the person’s name as they speak quickly and not very clearly. It then takes me several re-runs to obtain the correct information. Plus they often leave an incorrect number, particularly if it is a mobile. Luckily I can recall the details on my landline as well as on my mobile. Although some numbers do not show.
Messages and Voicemail
Voicemail can be very efficient and save time, however it doesn’t mean we need to forget our manners. Telephone messages are personal and your voice gives a lot away about yourself, through the tone, pitch and accent of your voice.
Tips for leaving and receiving a voice message :
- Answer message – ensure you are smiling and speak with energy, so you sound enthusiastic and friendly.
- Return calls – always return calls as soon as possible.
- Speak slowly and clearly – allow time for the person to hear your message and repeat numbers when leaving details.
- Identify yourself – give your name and if necessary your company and department, when you’re on the receiving end of a phone call.
- Personalize the conversation – and always be polite, whether leaving a message or answering a message. A telephone manner is very much part of our personal image and being polite and courteous is crucial in building up good relationships whether in business or in our personal lives. It shows respect.
Allow for People Hard of Hearing
Slow down it is important for people who may be hard of hearing, they may not be deaf, but may not hear as well as you plus people need time to register what you are saying.
By Angela Marshall, 22nd Jan 2015
Dressing well and looking stylish means wearing clothes that fit well, are clean, neat and tidy but also reflect our personality, so we feel comfortable and portray a confident and positive image. It is important to be well groomed whether in formal or informal situations. Looking scruffy doesn’t give a stylish appearance or show respect for yourself or the people you are with.
It is important to learn and adapt your style as you change whether by becoming older, developing your personality or changing your lifestyle. We all will go through various phases in our life – teenage, parenthood, new job to promotion to later life in retirement.
Here are some tips on looking stylish:-
Well Groomed – Be Clean Neat & Presentable
Ensure your clothes, shoes, hair and nails are clean neat and presentable.
A Style to Suit Your Personality
Understand what styles, fabrics and textures compliment you, reflect your personality and that you feel comfortable and confident in. Avoid others advice or wearing what others look good in if you do not feel great and enjoy wearing them. Add accessories which you enjoy which will bring out your own style and reflect your personality.
Dress appropriately for the occasion
There are such varieties of choice whether casual, informal, formal or eveningwear. Check out the dress code and ask for an example if they do not make it clear when attending events e.g. informal and no jeans, formal with tie or dress better than trousers for ladies.
Style rather than High Fashion
Transitional trends become less important as we get older and the way to look your best consistently will be through simplicity; consider style rather than high fashion.
Mix and Match
Learning to mix and match helps to avoid the need of too many clothes and gives variety to what you have.
Finally, remember to walk with confidence, a good posture and remember to smile!
Pics: ladies cape from Lacorin
By Angela Marshall, 15th Jan 2015
Our body language is the way in which we show what we are thinking and feeling through conscious and subconscious gestures. Our body movements and facial expressions give out lots of messages. We can say one thing but mean another and our body language will show this, as it is largely controlled by the subconscious.
We need to ensure we are giving out the right messages. We need to appear confident, trustworthy and, in the right situation, powerful. We also need to recognise other people’s body language, so we can adapt our body language in given situations e.g. if a person feels threatened we can put them at ease.
Learn to understand both yours and other people’s body language. Ask for feedback from friends or colleagues or review any videotapes of you making a presentation. You may see things you would never have believed or realised you did before.
Here are a few tips on positive body language:
- Facial expressions – convey happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise or dislike. Learn to use expressions to get your point across.
- Good posture – head up, shoulders back and in a comfortable position. It conveys a positive message, whereas slouching shows a lack of confidence or sloppiness. It will also affect your breathing and therefore your voice. Ensure you sit upright as much as possible.
- Eye contact should be given regularly, about 75% of the time. Steady eye contact will give the impression to a person that you are honest, confident and receptive. Generally, men give more contact when speaking and women when listening.
- A smile is a much underrated business tool. It conveys enthusiasm, happiness and interest. It is a sign of friendship and fosters goodwill in business. It also helps to relax the muscles in your face.
- Your voice conveys a variety of feelings – anxiety, concern or interest. It can betray your mood, sound positive or negative. When talking, you need to consider pitch, tone, rhythm and speed of your voice. Your voice is particularly important on the telephone – ensure you speak clearly, concisely and at the correct level of tone. Smile when leaving a greeting or message on the telephone.
- Give active signs of listening – nod or comment e.g. ah, oh or mm.
- A handshake leaves an impression with other people. It says how professional, confident and sophisticated you are. A firm handshake is important; nobody likes a limp handshake or one that squeezes your hand too tight.
- The use of space is important. A powerful individual feels quite comfortable taking a lot of space and will use expansive gestures. A shy person will feel less significant and will take less room. There are 4 spatial zones – intimate, personal zone, social zone and public zone.
Personal space is highly variable, and can be affected by cultural differences and personal experiences. For example, those living in densely populated places e.g. cities, tend to have a lower expectation of personal space. Research has revealed that there are four different zones of interpersonal space:
- Intimate distance ranges from touching to about 18 inches (46 cm) apart – reserved for lovers, close family members and friends.
- Personal distance begins about an arm’s length away; starting around 18 inches (46 cm) from the person and ending about 4 feet (122 cm) away – used in conversations with friends, to chat with associates, and in group discussions.
- Social distance ranges from 4 to 8 feet (1.2 m – 2.4 m) away from the person – reserved for strangers, newly formed groups, and new acquaintances.
- Public distance includes anything more than 8 feet (2.4 m) away, and is used essentially for larger audiences e.g. speeches or lectures.
By Angela Marshall, 18th Dec 2014
With the Holiday season coming up it is often the time we meet our partner’s parents for the first time. When going to meet them it can be daunting and you can feel very nervous. All families have their own style, habits and some can be good or bad but none of us are perfect. Some of us are more affluent, better educated, had better opportunities in life, but the one thing we can all be is polite, respectful and friendly. Instead of treating it as something to worry about, think of it in a positive way on how you will see and learn how another family lives, and how great it will be to meet your partner’s parents and learn more about them.
My suggestions on what to consider:
- Wear an outfit you feel comfortable in and represents your personality but not too outlandish. Something simple, tasteful and appropriate for the event e.g. going to a restaurant, visiting their home.
- Be on time – bad manners to be late and disrespectful.
- Address the parents as “Mr” and “Mrs” until they say otherwise.
- Follow your partner’s lead – watch if they are more relaxed or more formal than your family. Handshake or hug, follow what the parents do.
- Take a Gift – flowers, chocolates, plant or wine if suited and they drink.
- Use your Ps and Qs- remember to say please and thank you.
- Body Language – head up, shoulders back, sit upright in chair – look confident and remember to smile!
- Offer to Help – be useful, wash up, carry food to the table, and help to make the food if necessary. Ask if not sure what to do; all families have their own ways.
- Compliment where appropriate – like something in the meal, dessert, drink, item in the home.
- Be Prepared with Answers to Questions- make conversation; find out from your partner what common interests you may have.
- Be too quiet or too talkative – join in but no take over the conversation.
- Complain or be negative about people and things in work or school. Avoid controversy and be positive.
- Talk about politics or religion – especially if you know they have different views or beliefs to you.
- Get drunk – avoid over indulging with alcohol.
- Swear or use inappropriate language.
- Help yourself to a drink or food from the fridge or cupboard just because your partner does, wait to be offered.
- Expect all the attention – remember your partner has been part of their family and may get more attention.
- Display affection in public to your partner – avoid PDA, especially on your first meeting, parents may feel awkward and uncomfortable.
- Be late or too early.
- Be Rude – avoid offending people, being moody or answering abruptly if the family offend you.
The key thing is to be polite, respectful, and friendly and leave them with a good impression that you are a nice person. If you have special dietary requirements ensure you let them know ahead of time, preferably via your partner.
Enjoy and have fun!
Finally, remember to write a letter of thank you.
By Angela Marshall, 11th Dec 2014
Whether you are 25 or 50 it is important to look stylish and dress well. Every year, at your birthday, look at your wardrobe and check what needs tweaking to suit your personal style and age. As we get older we also change and develop and what may have suited us a few years ago may not look the same or suit our personality now.
What does dressing well and looking stylish mean?
Wearing clothes that fit well and that are clean, neat and tidy. Ensuring you are always well groomed whether in formal or casual attire. Understanding your own style which reflects your wardrobe personality and age group and dressing appropriately for every occasion. If in doubt it is better to be overdressed than under dressed. Learn and adapt your style by understanding and knowing what works for you and ensuring you feel as well as look good.
Everything must fit well.
- Find a good tailor. Most decent dry cleaning places will also do alterations, but preferably get to know one personally so that they can check the fit of your clothes personally.
- A jacket fits across the shoulders and the sleeves are the correct length. Your suit sleeves should end just above the hinges of your wrists, so a quarter to half inch of shirt cuff shows.
- Trousers are fitting correctly at the waist, should not be baggy or so skin tight that they will tear. Ensure the waist is comfortable and not so loose that you need the belt to hold them up and the length is correct with shoes on. Your pants should just clip the tops of your shoes, not bunch up over them.
- Shirts should be the correct sleeve length and not puff out at the waist.
- Suits should fit like a glove, a good suit should hug your shoulders, not slouch off them. A tailor can check for any alterations as most off the peg suits require some alterations.
- For women ensure the skirt or dress length compliments your legs.
Clean Neat & Tidy
Ensure you are always well groomed by ensuring your clothes, shoes, hair and nails are clean, neat and tidy.
Understand what styles, fabrics and textures compliment you and reflect your personality. You need to feel comfortable in your clothes to feel and look good which in turn gives you great confidence. Don’t wear what others look good in and yet you do not feel good when you wear them. Add accessories which you enjoy and bring out your own style.
Dress appropriately for the occasion
There are such varieties to chose from whether casual, informal, formal or evening wear. Check out the dress code and don’t be afraid to ask when attending events and ask for an example if they do not make it clear e.g.is informal jeans or no jeans, formal tie or no tie.
Dressing Our Age
As we get older it is wiser to introduce more and more of the classics into an outfit and add some new trends which will still be good to be implemented. Transitional trends become less important and the way to look your best consistently will be through simplicity; consider style rather than fashion. Buy a range of colours to add to your classics but check if your colouring is softer and needs lighter or more muted tones. Buy better quality and experiment with different neck lines, textures and cuts which will add a touch of youth to your outfit and keep things varied.
Accessories add style, are great to update your look and add colour plus they are a great way to express your personality. As we get older they help you to stay fashionable without being too trendy . Chose the best quality you can afford for business. Women always carry a spare pair of hosiery.
By Angela Marshall, 4th Dec 2014
Buying presents for people can be difficult – will they appreciate and like the present when they open it? As an image consultant and author of books for men and women about wardrobe personality, I am often asked for advice. For me I always think of the person’s age, gender, interests and hobbies and most importantly their wardrobe personality type. I highly recommend you think what they would enjoy and like not you.
Tips and Ideas to help you:
- Think about the person you are buying for – consider their interests and hobbies, their age and personality type.
- Make a list of ideas and allow a budget of how much you want to spend.
- Give yourself time and some thought on what to give.
- Pay attention and listen for hints.
- Look for offers on websites, look around and look closely at everything.
- When purchasing clothes or accessories, always buy the item that represents the person’s personality not yours.
- Consider a back-up present or plan for the unexpected present.
- When possible obtain a gift receipt should the present need to be changed or refunded.
- If you don’t know them well consider a gift voucher or something in general like wine, chocolates or flowers.
- When shopping stay focused and keep as near as you can to your individual budgets.
Wrap your gifts beautifully
Think of the excitement when you see a beautiful present, irrespective of the cost of the gift. When possible wrap and present it beautifully if you want to really impress and show you have made an effort. It doesn’t need to cost, use your imagination or get ideas from the web.
Receiving a Gift
On the day remember it is the thought that counts. Remember your manners, and do write a thank you note for all the presents you receive and ensure, if you have children, that they do as well. It will encourage them to be polite but also will help them to learn to write and who knows they may well become a future author by thinking about what to say.
The manner of giving is worth more than the gift – Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur
By Angela Marshall, 1st Dec 2014
It’s the time of year when most companies have an office party. You may be looking forward to it or actually dreading the event. Think positively and see the event as an opportunity to speak to people you don’t normally get a chance to see or speak to and get to know some new colleagues on a social basis.
However, remember you will face your bosses and colleagues tomorrow and in the future, so ensure you do not blow your reputation by misbehaving, getting drunk or making a nuisance of yourself. Give a positive image and show how you can socialise professionally.
Reminders of the Do’s and Don’ts
- Dress to impress, not shock – wear something festive and fun but appropriate, wear something that fits you well and expresses your wardrobe personality. Something different to your office image but reflects you.
- Be on time, don’t stay late at work.
- Mix and mingle with colleagues and chat to people you don’t know or see rarely, make conversation and get to know them better.
- Be polite and courteous to everyone, even the people you don’t like very much.
- Smile and look like you are enjoying yourself, relax and you will!
- Have good table manners.
- Look good the next day – make an effort even if you don’t feel your best!
- Over indulge in alcohol.
- Overeat and find you are ill.
- Gossip about your bosses or colleagues.
- Become too familiar with your bosses or colleagues.
- Spend time on your mobile or inappropriately use your camera.
- Don’t eat too quickly or talk with your mouth full.
- Be the last to leave.
If a colleague has organised the event ensure you thank them and make a positive comment; they will appreciate it and remember you in a positive way.
By Angela Marshall, 27th Nov 2014
I was recently having a coffee at Waterloo station in London and opposite was sitting an extremely well dressed gentleman and what made him stand out compared to other people was not his suit but how well groomed he was. When someone is neat, tidy and well presented, whether they are dressed in formal or informal attire, they send signals to others about who they are. Good grooming pays dividends; it has a subtle but powerful influence on how you feel and look. It can affect the outcome you have on people in life.
Animals regularly clean themselves and put their fur, feathers or other skin coverings in good order, as keeping clean is the most hygienic way of staying healthy. Cats are meticulously clean; they spend a large portion of their day grooming.
Personal grooming is about taking care of your appearance and body and being well groomed is about perfecting the finer details. Regardless of your income, background or lifestyle, modern women and men have no excuse for being badly groomed. When you are clean, polished and look presentable people straight away think you are professional in your work and are more trustworthy than someone who looks scruffy. Simply by attending to minor details you will convey confidence and self-esteem and it transforms your appearance. You may have the appropriate clothes that suit you but poor grooming will ruin your entire look.
Make time to examine your clothes regularly for dirty marks, lost buttons, split seams, tears or loose hems. Always check, before going out, in a full-length mirror how your clothes look on you from front and back and check them during the day when you go to the toilet or washroom. Being well groomed some days and not others indicates you are not consistent and therefore not reliable.
To be well groomed all the time requires a routine with good habits.
7 Reminders for Presentable Grooming:
- Good hygiene – good body odour, skin clean and looking fresh, clean teeth and fresh breath. Have healthy teeth that look white and regularly visit a dentist.
- Nails – clean well manicured nails and feet.
- Hair – clean and presentable hair.
- Clothing Care – neatly pressed clothes, check your clothes for stains.
- Shoes– polished shoes and in good repair.
- Fragrances – be wary of using strong fragrances especially in business situations.
- Clothes co-ordinated –no visible lines or dark colours under light Read the rest of this entry »
By Angela Marshall, 20th Nov 2014
Many people feel uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers and some will avoid it. However, it is something we all must do to broaden our business and personal relationships. Whenever you are invited to an event approach it as a good time to network and get to know new people.
- Introduce yourself to people – give a firm handshake, a smile and a greeting or remark reassures the other person.
- Importance of Giving and Receiving – the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. In return you will receive advice, knowledge, contacts or information. “Pursue the relationship not the sale”
- What to Wear – Dress in a style that represents your personality, your company’s brand and your personal brand.
- Think positively – Know what you want to achieve from the event. Commit the time and make things happen!
- Walk in with confidence – Good posture, smile, eye contact, firm handshake and don’t stand so close to a person that you invade their personal space.
- Speak to people you know – Talk to them for a few moments to get a feel of the environment; ask for introductions.
- Be conscious of others in the room and their awareness.
- Working the Room – Occasionally you can get a prior list of attendees, identify any people you particularly want to meet, but keep in mind you never know whom other people may know.
- Introducing Yourself to People – Speak to someone who is on their own and then suggest you join others. Join a group of three or introduce people you know to people you have just met.
- Ideas of topics to talk about – Think of conversation starters that are simple and interesting and preferably open questions (current affairs, recent news, developments). Be enthusiastic and sound interesting.
- Description of what you do – Always be prepared with a short sentence to describe what you do. Keep it brief and to the point and try to include the benefits to your clients. Show what you can deliver, be confident, passionate about your work and add some humour.
- How to remember names – Be the first to introduce yourself and ask the person for their name. Repeat their name back to them; if you are a visual person, imagine their name written down or look at their business card.
- Where to place a name badge – Always wear your name badge on your upper right shoulder. Why? When extending your right hand for a handshake the person will automatically be drawn to your right hand side. Position the badge high enough on your right side to give other people the best view of your badge as well as your face. Plus the badge will always lie flat and more secure when it is on the upper part of your chest as this is the flattest.
- Your Network Style – You are in control of how and where you network. Use your personality style to suit your approach. Learn what makes you tick and works best for you, but do go out of your comfort zone so that you grow and develop and become a great networker.
Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog.
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners."