Two Key Ingredients that Craft Your Image
Wardrobe is very, very important but not to the exclusion of the other image ingredients. Everybody always centers immediately on clothes when thinking about image. A popular fantasy is that if you bought an Armani suit you would automatically look a million dollars. The sad truth is that you will not look any different than in your own two-year-old High Street suit- and you will be a lot poorer! The answer is in the way that you choose your suit, how you apply the finishing touch- fit, co-ordinate, accessorize appropriately- and then complete the picture through top-to-toe grooming. Then you can still buy in the High Street but look and feel a million dollars- having saved a small fortune.
It is also important that the feel and the cut of your clothes makes you feel good. If you are comfortable you are not constrained and that shows in your body language. Everything in your working wardrobe should always be flattering and appropriate to the situation in hand. For peace of mind, you should aim for your wardrobe to work for you. When your wardrobe works, your clothes answer all your needs and you will feel comfortable and complimented by everything within it. You therefore can get on with the important things in your life in the knowledge that what you are wearing and how you are wearing it, is right.
Your grooming overall should give an impression of cleanliness and impeccability, showing that you care about how you look “attention to detail’.
It includes nails and hands, hair, skin (make-up for women), smell/hygiene, glasses/lenses, and teeth.
Your voice can dispel an image or, equally, can enhance it. We are not talking about accent. We are speaking about voice, pitch, speed, intonation, timing and contents. A high pitched squeaky voice indicates a nervous, flibberty gibbert kind of person. Not one you would possibly feel you would want to meet on many occasions, or have confidence in business. A slow monotone with little change in pitch would seem to belong to a slow plodding person with little personality or ‘oomph’, let alone boring all listeners to tears!
Voice is therefore important in contributing to the actual image of the voice owner. However, a pleasant interesting voice is always a plus factor as people enjoy listening to it and therefore pay more attention.
Face and body language tells us a great deal about a person but often without us realizing it at a conscious level. When we begin to look better- and therefore feel better- about ourselves, these messages often change positively as they are basically reflectors of our own confidence.
The need for manners and etiquette is said to be fast disappearing in the modern world. Personally, I believe that it is best to conform as it is still considered by many as most important. If you are not seen to practice this code, it could certainly count against you in certain situations. It is always best to know what is viewed as right and then at least you can make an informeddecision about whether to use it or not.
Manners and etiquette are also a means of showing respect to others and that can certainly do no harm as long as it is not seen to be overdone, sycophantic or old fashioned.
Behaviour is somewhat different. It should be noted that your behavior should always be congruent with the image you are choosing to portray.