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The Importance of a Professional Image

First impressions are sometimes all you've got when it comes to closing a deal or landing a new contract.
by

Douglas Malcolm

on 7 November 2012

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Transcript of The Importance of a Professional Image

Making a positive impression The importance of one’s Professional Image George Washington 17th Century Professional

George Washington was commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution and first president of the United State.

Here me show Professionalism and demands respect. Booker T. Washington A powerful image of yourself affects the way you act, the way you conduct business and crucially the way you think about yourself.
The quality of our self-image – positive or negative – is central to our potential for success. Successful individuals and businesses always have a strong self-image; they believe without any doubt that they can reach their goals.

They can because they believe they can. Virgil (c.70-19 B.C.) Roman poet Self-image is actually a collection of ideas you have about yourself that you believe to be true, even if they are not. These ideas begin in early childhood with impressions given to us by the significant people in our lives as well as other outside sources. The beliefs we have about our abilities determine our self-image. Many of our daily decisions are based on information about ourselves that we have accepted as true. Since we will always act in a manner that is in direct proportion to our self-image, we can change what’s happening in our lives by changing the picture. INTRODUCTION The image we portray sends an important message to our clients, as well as influences how we feel about ourselves. Therefore, we too need to consider our professional image and how to dress for success. Sue Currie, 07 First impressions are sometimes all you've got when it comes to closing a deal or landing a new contract. Having the right image can propel your career and social standing, while the wrong one may create unwarranted biases against you. Projecting a professional business image is both extremely essential and powerful. It can mean the difference between attracting lots of clients and little to absolutely no clients at all. Imagine dining at a 5-star restaurant and being served an extravagant meal on a garbage can. At that point even the atmosphere doesn't seem as appealing.

The same goes for your business image, it determines how others feel, think, and see your business. While image isn't everything it certainly has a major influence.

Who you are and how people perceive you are critical in the business world. Your appearance, attitude, reputation, on-the-job performance, and how you treat others all play a tremendous role in contributing to your overall image and ultimate success. The Importance of Projecting a Professional Image You don't have to wear a wool suit and expensive shoes to project a professional image, but you do need to pay attention to your appearance. Wear clean, wrinkle-free, well-fitting items. Men should wear gray or navy suits with a light-colored shirt and conservative tie. Women can wear neutral or navy-colored suits with a light-colored shirt and nylons. If women wear skirts, they should be knee-length or just slightly above the knee. All shoes should be polished and accessories kept to a minimum. You want your clothing to make a professional statement but not stand out. Keep your hair neat and your nails manicured. Carry your papers in an attaché or briefcase. Projecting a Professional Image Image is created by a lot of different ingredients acting together. Physical appearance, dress, voice, manner, the views you express or the fact you don’t express any and the way you react to the people around you. How can we portray a professional image? Interviews Professional and you When you project a professional image to a potential employer, they will recognize how serious you are about the opportunity and will be able to envision you at the jobsite. They will appreciate your effort to fit the role and may take your intentions more seriously. ONE SUCH EXAMPLE:

Consider someone who has recently graduated from the top of their class at a prestigious school. This person has a degree in literature and edited her school's literary journal; she hopes to pursue a job working for a traditional publishing company. She's totally qualified for the job from a skills and knowledge standpoint, but her fashion sense leaves something to be desired. She has bright blue colored highlights in her hair, multiple piercings, and a wardrobe that makes her looks like a punk rocker. This virtually guarantees she won't get hired, even though from a knowledge, skills and qualifications standpoint, she's perfect for the job. Employers hate taking risks when it comes to hiring employees. Persuade buyers Sales Presentations When making sales presentations, projecting a professional image confirms to the buyer that you are serious about your work, know your product and are a professional. Your appearance, manners and knowledge of your product will garner respect from your audience and at least give you the opportunity to pitch your product. If you showed up for a sales presentation in shorts and Flip-Flops, your potential customer would probably not take you seriously or give you the respect he would if you showed up in a suit and polished shoes. VS Helps you get a promotion In the Office Projecting a professional image at your office may help you get a promotion. Your appearance and attention to detail projects motivation and drive that co-workers and supervisors will notice. You will be taken more seriously than your peers who dress casually and your clients will respond to you with respect and a professional rapport. Though your productivity may not improve with your professional appearance, you will likely act more professional and will be regarded as more professional than your casual counterpart. Remember to always projects excellence and distinction in your dress and communication. Never show up to a business meeting looking less than professional even when the event is unofficial. Never show up late. In Conclusion In fact, as the military says, "If you're early you're on time, and if you're on time you're late." Make certain your nails are crisp and clean. Being professional during off the record incidents speaks volumes and says something about your character. At all times maintain friendliness even when the other party is impolite. Your rudeness is a reflection upon your business. On no account try not to discuss disagreements through email as it may come across as rude and misconceived. If you're doubtful, take the time to call and speak with that in person. Likewise, don't fwd your clients unprofessional and/or unethical emails. Ethics and You In addition, never use slang and colloquial speech, with clients even if they are using it. Speak proper English. Speaking anything less, is improper and doesn't project professionalism. At the same rate make sure you aren't using words that will go over your client's head. You don't want them having to pull out the dictionary to understand what you are communicating, as that can also become counterproductive. While your clients may think you're very intelligent, they will not appreciate you talking over them. Speak proper English In essence, whatever you do, remember executing excellence is your number one objective. Projecting a professional image is imperative to your business success as it will attract your clients. Before carrying out anything, ask yourself is this productive to my objective of excellence? If the answer is no, you should reconsider. Finally 18th Century Professional

He was an eloquent speaker and used this skill for the benefit of Tuskegee Institute. The school continued to grow. James Maye Jason Clarke 21st Century Professional

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President, and Joe Biden as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009. In his first few days in office, Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda directing the U.S. President Barack Obama 20th Century Professional 19th Century Professional Professional Image Presenters

Douglas A. Malcolm
Larkland Williams Recap of key concepts Your professional image is the set of qualities and characteristics that represent perceptions of your competence and character as judged by your key constituents that is your clients, superiors, subordinates, colleagues. “Laura Morgan Robert”

Professional image consists of personal appearance with regard to clothing, grooming, manners and etiquette, personal behavior, and communication effectiveness. Definition Making introductions and appropriate greetings
Being able to initiate and maintain conversations
Respecting and valuing the differences of others
Knowing appropriate dining rules and protocol
Extending courteous behavior to others
Knowing how to behave in difficult situations Attributes of professional image Professional dress can be defined as dressing in such a manner as to enhance your authority, promote your respect, aid in your promotion, and promote your advancement opportunities in the workplace As a professional, you want to practice a code of personal behavior that demonstrates respect for your organization and the people who work with you Respecting the organization and its rules
Being a loyal employee
Conducting yourself and business in an ethical manner
Assuming responsibility
Valuing diversity The business world makes judgments about you based on your professional image.
Your professional image also affects your self-confidence and performance.
Professional appearance is a composite of your professional dress and your grooming.
Professional image consists of personal appearance as it relates to clothing, grooming, manners and etiquette, personal behavior, and communication effectiveness. The End
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