Polished First Impressions Set Positive Tone; Wow ‘Em

2013-12-06 02:06 UTC by Sonja Carberry | Investor’s Business Daily, United States

Konanykhin, CEO of ad agency KMGi Group, started WikiExperts to help clients navigate the contentious process of getting volunteer-edited entries amended. "I believe it is the most overlooked aspect of social media marketing," Konanykhin said.

Opinions are formed in seconds, so how you present yourself is paramount. Tips to get it just right:

 Make yourself over. Executives too often pay lip service to an impeccable appearance.

"On the surface, they know it's important. But people don't take the actions to invest in their image," said David McKnight, author of "The Zen of Executive Presence."

The New York City-based consultant instructs clients on four aspects: appearance, communication style, business etiquette and digital presence.

Savvy professionals take a head-to-toe approach to looking their best. "It's just as important as your resume," McKnight told IBD.

 Check their view. We all have blind spots — that tie worn for sentimental reasons, or a fidgety tic we haven't tamed. Those little things can distract the very people you're trying to impress.

McKnight's advice: Seek an objective opinion, and listen without ego. "We need to be aware of what those perceptions are that other people have of us," he said. "It really doesn't take thousands and thousands of dollars. It just takes some attention."

 Shine on time. Treat that job interview or crucial meeting like it's your wedding day.

"It should be the best the employer will ever see you," McKnight said. "It is really important to put your best foot forward."

 Exude assurance. The thing about a poised, yet authentic, demeanor? "If you don't project it, people know it instantly."

So says John Baldoni, author of "The Leader's Guide to Speaking With Presence." People gravitate to confidence, which is not to be confused with perfection. "Authenticity is not sainthood," he said.

 Make an entrance. A high-pressure point for most is presenting to audiences.

Timid speakers will scurry, head down, to the podium. "What they radiate is fear," Baldoni said.

To get off on a sure foot, take this stride: Walk to center stage, pause, look side to side, perhaps gesture to someone you know. Then introduce yourself.

"It's a matter of control," Baldoni said. "You are in control and the audience (members) are your guests. You're the one offering hospitality."

 Break the ice. Don't start without acknowledging the audience, suggested Baldoni: "Make a slight comment about a situation they're all facing."

This could be an observation about the weather or the work at hand.

 Express yourself. Baldoni advises clients that to hone their delivery, they should read the newspaper out loud and play with tones and rhythms.

"You're learning the capacity of your voice and your style," he said.

Familiarity breeds assurance.

"It's that old joke," he said. "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."

 Watch your back. What if someone's first view is out of your control?

That's what happens when potential clients learn about your company via Wikipedia.

The online encyclopedia routinely pops up at the top of Google (WikiExperts founder Alex Konanykhin.

That's because Wikipedia aims for objectivity. But it can contain inaccuracies.

Konanykhin, CEO of ad agency KMGi Group, started WikiExperts to help clients navigate the contentious process of getting volunteer-edited entries amended.

"I believe it is the most overlooked aspect of social media marketing," Konanykhin said.

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