Feel Empowered To Present – Did you know that you’re constantly representing an exclusive brand, all through your life? The way you walk, talk, work, dress, act – heck, everything you say and do impacts how others perceive this particular brand.
If you haven’t guessed already, this unique brand is YOU!
Every moment of your life is a living advertisement of the dynamic brand that is you! Unfortunately, not all of our advertisements are conscious, or even complementary. We’re largely unaware of the statement we make in the way we present ourselves to others. It’s no wonder then that people receive mixed signals from us, and send back equally mixed responses.
There’s more. When done right, your personal brand can be a strong inspirational force for others. And when done wrong, it can discourage others outright. Your brand is so powerful that not only does it impact others, but the message you convey through your it also impacts how you perceive yourself!
Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? But think about it, how often has your self-image been influenced by what others think of you? Quite often! But what we forget is that we alone are responsible for both ends. So the only solution is to consciously present yourself in the best possible light, at all times.
This post will teach you to do this: to constantly and consistently present yourself positively, so you have a powerful, inspirational and energizing impact on yourself and others. Through the 7 potent tips outlined below, you will feel empowered to present yourself with aplomb. Our intent is to cover the entire spectrum of possibilities, from the superficial, to the spiritual. So you not only present yourself better, you ARE better, and can hence effortlessly share this “Best Brand” version of you!
Be Visually Appealing
The first thing that grabs your attention in a person is the way he or she looks. So begin your tryst to present yourself positively by being visually appealing.
Notice how we say “be” visually appealing, and not become visually appealing. This means that you do not have to become anything other than what you already are to present yourself better. And this is good – no, great news!
Here are some hints to heighten your existing visual appeal:
- Be unapologetic about your looks (no matter how you look). You don’t have to grow taller or thinner or fairer or prettier or more muscular to be visually appealing.
- Smile easily, at yourself and others. It instantly rockets your visual appeal.
- Wear your clothes, hair and apparel with confidence. They don’t have to be driven by the fashion police, but they can certainly be clean, and fit well.
- Walk with your shoulders straight so you not only look taller, you are taller (in self-esteem).
Don’t let society dictate your visual appeal. If you accept how you look and are convinced inside you, this reflects in your brand, outside you. Simply present yourself as the best you already are, so society can celebrate your unique appeal.
Speak with Conviction
If our eyes are our most influential sense organ, our ears are a close second. We pay good attention to what we hear.
Take a moment to consider the strong speakers you admire: grand orators, actors, artists, leaders, etc. – people who mesmerize others with their words. It’s not just what they speak, but how they speak it that impresses others. They radiate a superlative confidence that compels people to follow them.
Some of us confuse confidence with perfection. We think that we can be confident only when we become perfect. But nothing can be further from the truth! If you wait for perfection to present yourself right, you could potentially wait forever, as your “idea” of perfection is constantly changing. It’s like chasing the horizon!
Great speakers build their confidence on another grand virtue: Conviction. They strongly decide for something. It doesn’t matter what others think of it, they are 100% convinced about it. This strong conviction empowers them to make it work, despite all odds.
This conviction is also outrageously infectious. If you want to present yourself positively and be a powerful influence on others, speak with conviction. Own what you speak. Make it yours, unconditionally and completely.
One additional tip here is to play with your voice, so you modulate the tone, pace and volume of your speech to suit your audience. This is not just in a public forum, but even for face-to-face or phone communication. If you speak with conviction for your audience, no matter what you speak, you will leave an unforgettable impact.
Listen with Empathy
If you want to present yourself as a positive speaker, you’ll have to become a strong listener. Only then will you speak in a way that captures others’ attention.
To become a great listener, all you have to do is add 2 notable elements to your hearing.
- Active participation.
Listening is different from passive hearing, where you internally “tune out” what you hear. This is also different from blindly agreeing to the other party regardless of any internal conflict. Listening needs you to actively participate, while keeping your mouth shut! J
Think of a time you soothingly dealt with the troubles of another, perhaps a friend, a child, or an elderly member. It’s likely that while they aggressively ranted about their troubles, you actively heard them out with understanding. You probably said very little yourself, but you patiently listened to them vent out. And at the end, they were thankful and thought that of you as:
- A great listener.
- A person who understands others’ problems.
- A compassionate being who willingly supports others to solve their problems.
Isn’t this an image we all strive to present? Listening can help you become this image with very little effort, so you present yourself the way others want to see you.
Adapt the Right Body Language
So far, we’ve appealed to the top 2 senses: eyes and ears. When you present yourself with the right body language, you become appealing to the entire (human) being.
A positive body language helps you re-affirm what you verbally communicate, through gestures and actions, so your message is more impactful to the audience. Body language does not have to be fancy. It can be as simple as a warm greeting when you say, “How are you? I’m glad to see you,” AND re-iterate this message with a comforting handshake and a winsome smile. It’s a natural culmination of what we speak, and how we feel.
Here are some quick tips on body language. We do however encourage you to explore more comprehensive material.
- Begin a meeting with a firm handshake greeting, and a smile that reaches your eyes. Some cultures may need you to skip the handshake. But keep the smile.
- Respect personal space. Don’t step too close to someone new – 3 to 4 feet is more appropriate.
- Maintain (appropriate) eye contact as this invites trust. However, do take note that you do not stare.
- Don’t close your body, as it indicates a closed mind. No closed fists, closed arms, feet too close together, etc. Instead, adapt a stance that is open and comfortable.
- Play with the mirroring technique, where you (appropriately) “mirror” the other person’s positive posture, tone of voice, gestures, etc. to build a deeper connection with the other person.
(Note: Apply this carefully so it does not look like you’re “mocking” the person.)
One significant thing to note here is that body language is not just about gestures, postures, tone of voice, etc. It comes from the underlying attitude you carry within you. This naturally translates to the expressions and signals you send outside you. So if you carry a friendly demeanor within, you’re more likely to carry a smile or use the open-palms stance (indicating friendliness and openness), with no additional effort.
This brings us to the next tip to present yourself positively…
Wear an Upbeat Mood
This valuable tip can dramatically transform the way you present yourself, coz you mood tangibly alters the self-image you carry.
Normally, we choose to allow external circumstances to dictate our mood.
- When we get something we desire, we feel elated
- When we face disappointment, we feel cheated.
- When a friend appreciates us, we feel good.
- When we face criticism, we feel misunderstood.
But tell us, do you want your self-image and esteem to be hijacked by your precarious feelings, making it flighty and unstable? Surely not, as this image inside you directly impacts the brand you portray outside you.
If you want to present yourself as a positive influence at all times, “wear” an upbeat mood. It’s much like wearing a new outfit every day, only better. Make a conscious decision to feel optimistic, self-assured and cheerful, every moment, every day. It’s not unrealistic. You can make this happen when you decide to focus your energy deriving solutions to problems, and not problems in solutions. It also helps to fatten your verbal dictionary with vibrant, positive, can-do words.
When you’re armed with this sunny attitude, you will automatically trigger an identical response from the people who come in contact with you. They will see you as an attractive influence, and feel mighty inspired to follow you.
Become your Best Friend
It is enormously easy to stay in an upbeat mood, constantly, when we genuinely like ourselves. Else, no matter how hard you try to “fake it,” you will find it hard to sustain, and eventually give up. So our next tip to you is to become your own best friend.
Become your biggest champion! Here are some pointers to make this happen.
- No matter what your personality, never let yourself belief that you are “not good enough”. BE that best friend that believes you are awesome!
- Every single one of us is blessed with a set of unique, virtuous qualities. Do you recognize and appreciate them in yourself?
- Become self-aware: what are your core strengths and areas of opportunity, beyond your present circumstance?
- Are you okay with your weaknesses? If you have trouble accepting them, what tangible steps can you take, to transform them?
- At any time, we’re either growing, or we’re falling. It’s much easier to accept ourselves when we’re on the path to expansion. What are you doing to BE even better?
Even when external circumstances are challenging, you will deal with it reasonably and present yourself with confidence, conviction and grace. If you’re comfortable within, sending a positive image to others should not take much work. Your external personality then flows as a natural offset of your charming individuality.
Through this post, we’ve given you several impressive tips to transform the way you present yourself. But if there’s one non-virtue that will throw all their effectiveness out of the window, it’s hypocrisy.
This is where you don’t walk your talk.
- You verbally appreciate someone, but you internally feel wildly competitive and jealous.
- You expect others to be on time, but you frequently make excuses for yourself.
- You speak of positive thinking, but your inner dialogue is negative.
The thing with hypocrisy is that it’s atrociously devious (to ourselves), as it works from the inside. Others can see it in us, but often we don’t. To break hypocrisy, we embrace integrity.
You’ve heard of the old adage, “Practice what you preach”. We turn this around and tell you, “Preach (only) what you personally practice”. Following this one premise will have you present yourself with integrity, and motivate others to follow suit.
On a parting note, remember to present yourself right as the best you already are. We cannot stress this enough, as we’ve seen several folks face failure after trying umpteen tricks to change who they are. It’s simply not sustainable! You may however make superficial changes to gain initial acceptance (like wear a tie to a formal meeting, learn snippets of a language to appeal to the locals, etc.). This is okay as long as your long-term investment is fixated on YOU, the real, unique brand that reveals the authentic you!