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For immediate release (October 6, 2017) Media Contact: Judy Abelman Email: Phone: 440.725.8861...

The elements of your personal presence

By Traci McBride

I write regularly about personal image, a subject I am passionate about and have been for many years, even decades before I was trained as an image consultant. As a young person I noticed how people were treated differently based on their how they acted and the way they dressed.

Elements_1Have you ever been in a room full of people and instantly been attracted to one person? You’re not sure if it’s their clothes, shoes or looks or something more intangible, such as an energy or vibe that they put out. Well, that is “presence.”

Your personal presence isn’t only about clothing or physical looks. Personal presence is much more than that. Since others decide in a nanosecond certain aspects of who you are, it would make sense to understand what your personal presence is communicating, right?

Usually we read articles to understand others, but I’d like you today to turn to yourself. Your habits and behaviors are either opening or closing doors for you. Plus it’s easy to see what others are doing wrong but much more challenging to understand our own behaviors and how others are reading us.

Ask yourself:

How do you show-up in conversations? Do you share irritating things that happened to you that day or instead focus on the positive events going on around you.

How do you inspire others? Do you easily share and connect with people based on their needs instead of your own? Being enthusiastic is contagious. Others love the energy they feel when they are listened to and cared about, more so then the words you say. Be mindful to give them credit for what they’ve accomplished. Being open minded and vulnerable make you relatable. Sharing about those that inspired you allows others to know that you value people and in turn will value them.

How do you Influence others? Do you share yourself? Do you get involved with organizations that matter to you? Do you serve in that organization or instead let others plan, do all the work, then you to show-up and point out how they could have done it better? An influencer joins a committee or board then takes on some level of responsibility. They share their perspective by collaborating on elevating the organization. An influencer never bullies or pushes his or her own agenda.

How do you listen? Do you listen intently to understand their point of view and ask more questions based on what they shared? Do you interrupt others mid-sentence assuming you already know what they are going to say? Do you talk over them to share a similar experience that you had? Do you feel like you have to solve their issue by telling them what to do? Do you focus on what you are going to say in reply as they speak?

Do you look and engage with them or keep your eye on the action happening around them and being distracted?

Elements of developing presence:

  • Dressing with respect for yourself and the event you are attending.
  • Body language — Using non-verbal cue of engagement by using open movements, strong eye contact, sincere smile, gentle nodding of understanding, firm hand shake, and gentle touching of an arm or shoulder.
  • Talking in clear rhythm and pronunciation for others to easily understand.
  • Being-in-the-moment, focused only on the people in front of you.
  • Building rapport by asking follow-up questions and following up with whatever you promised, such as social media or email connections.
  • Etiquette and grace. Knowing the proper and respectful way to greet and introduce yourself and others, arranging meetings, and all other social graces will serve you well.
  • Communicate publicly with consistency on social media and in person. Avoid having two personalities. This all leads to your authenticity.
  • Exuding confidence, charm, and humor will always make you stand out for all the right reasons.
  • Feeling good when you leave the event, knowing you presented the best of yourself and elevated the conversations around you while connecting people to those who can support them in their endeavors.

Style Bundles6Tips to communicate and behave in a way to exude personal presence:

  • Self-assessment — Make a list of all your positive attributes. And a second list of areas that you know you need to enhance.
  • Enlist your inner circle: Ask them for both positive and negative feedback of your overall presence using the lists above. Promise not to be sensitive about anything they might share that you didn’t see. Your inner circle will support you in growing and elevating.
  • Read, research, and attend workshops on wardrobe, body language, and etiquette to build on your skills.

Traci McBride is the wardrobe stylist of TeeMcBee Image Consulting and is a longtime supporter of nonprofit Dress for Success-Cleveland. She can be reached via email.

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