By Angela Marshall

To be successful in a competitive market we need to stand out from the crowd. To do this people need to be comfortable with whom they are, have the confidence to be unique, have charisma and let their individuality shine.

Suggestions to help you:

1. Good Personal Appearance- is fundamental and shows you care about your image and want to be taken seriously. There are a few basic steps. Ensure that you are well-groomed and that you feel as well as look good in your clothes. Dress to suit your personality and in a way that represents you. When you show your own personality it shines through and your self-esteem makes people notice you more.

Wear clothes that compliment your body shape and that fit you well. Wear shades of colours that make you look healthy and vibrant. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Wear accessories that represent your wardrobe’s personality. Be a little creative, looking for those items that will make your wardrobe more original than the average well-dressed man or woman.

A poorly dressed person you notice their clothes. A well dressed person you notice them

2. Good posture- good posture conveys confidence and tells the world you are self-assured. Display positive body language. When you meet someone, give a firm handshake and look the other person in the eye. Stand tall, lengthen your spine and pay attention to how you walk, sit, and stand, always be upright but relaxed.

3. Good manners remember your “Ps and Qs” - please and thank you. Greet people, say ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’ or ‘how are you’. Treat people as you wish to be treated or how you think they wish to be treated. Make each person you meet feel as though he or she is truly important. When you make people feel good they are naturally drawn to you and have a stronger opinion of you.

4. Listen actively when others speak- Give someone your full attention when he or she is speaking to you. Make good eye contact, and give active signs of listening e.g. nod in agreement or make brief interjections, to confirm you are listening and that you're interested in what he or she has to say.

5. Speak with confidence - say your words clearly and not too quickly. It is not only what you say but how you say it; change your pitch and to emphasise something say it with conviction. Use hand gestures to help. Keep your hands away from your face and give good eye contact with the person or people you are speaking to. Look at ease, avoid fidgeting or signs of nervousness.

6. Smile — it cost nothing, but fosters good will in business and is a sign of friendship.

7. Tidiness - good impression includes in your office, your car, your handbag or briefcase. Keep them tidy and avoid newspapers or magazines spread about, clothes slung over chairs or on the back of seats, rubbish or coffee cups left around. All of this looks untidy, gives a bad impression, is a sign of sloppiness and inefficiency, which will spoil your personal image and brand.

Angela Marshall of Appearance Management is one of the UK’S leading image consultants. Since 1995, she has worked with all manner of clients from blue-chip companies like Barclays Bank, Shell, Ernst & Young and Deloitte to politicians and other professionals to enhance their personal image, etiquette and manners.

Angela, apart from her hands-on style consultation, is known for her sound advice and inspirational thinking. Angela presents seminars and workshops for corporate clients covering subjects on appearance, etiquette and manners and how to small talk and network. Angela is an excellent speaker and has also published two books on the subject of wardrobe personality. Regarded as an expert in her field she regularly gives comments to the press and appears on the media.

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