“It’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts”. Many of us have grown up hearing this feel-good phrase, but when it comes to your business and career, do looks matter? While ideally we would like people to judge us by our values and how we behave, the reality is that appearance does matter.
In the article “Are Good Looking People More Successful?”, Business Insider explores how much of an impact looks have on your prosperity. Whether it’s how successful attractive people are during interviews, how people perceive their management skills, or how much they get paid, the results are clear: good looking people are likely to make a better impression, be seen as better managers and get paid more.
So does this mean those of us who don’t look like Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone should put our aspirations aside in favour of whatever life sends our way? Of course not! While looks are important, there are many other ways you can put your best foot forward and seal that deal! In this blog, we’ll offer three presentation tips to help you achieve this goal effortlessly.
Make sure you’re well groomed (but remember that grooming is more than just appearance)
When you think about grooming, the first things to come to mind are probably whether someone has a nice haircut, trimmed their nails or whether they are clean shaven or have a neatly trimmed beard. While these are all important parts of grooming, there are other critical elements that people sometimes fail to pay attention to.
Whether you’re fidgeting because you’re nervous, are short with people because you have had a bad day, or are very soft-spoken, you are very likely to create a poor first impression, which will in turn impact your chances of closing a sale. Going to a body language coach, downloading an app like Vanido to help you improve your speaking voice, or even turning to YouTube on how to improve your body language, speaking habits and confidence, might mean the difference between someone signing a deal or not.
Dress to impress (but also dress appropriately)
A well-fitted business suit, or any other suitably professional attire, such as a collared shirt and slacks, or collared blouse and skirt, go very far in building a respectful image. And depending on how formal you need to be, finishing touches like a tie may be required (if you rarely have to wear a tie and have forgotten how to tie a windsor knot, there’s an app to help you out with that). When going formal, try to avoid flashy colours and designs as this may clash with the professional image you’re trying to project.
While dressing formally is generally considered the safe option, remember that not every industry is the same when it comes to clothing and presentation style. While a business executive who has worn a suit every day of their 30-year business career might expect you to do the same, a founder at a startup might have less strict requirements. This doesn’t mean you should pitch up in your jeans and the Metallica t-shirt you’ve worn to all their concerts, but you might be able to ditch the tie or suit jacket.
Make sure your sales pitch looks and feels as good as you do
No one is asking you to be a designer and dedicate your life to creating amazing works of art, but with the templates available in free tools like Google Slides, it’s simple to put together a professional-looking presentation. And, if you have the creative energy and time, you could go even further and put together a presentation that’s truly unique (and will further help you stand out in the mind of your potential customer).
These three tips on how to present your work and yourself will help you get an edge on your competition, ensuring that you look, feel and present at your absolute best.
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