2 years back I was the Recruiting Committee President for AIESEC Port Harcourt and I was trying to find my way to the school gate. I wanted to quickly meet up with a student who was interested in getting the AIESEC recruitment form. On getting to the school gate, I saw this tall, dark guy who was dressed in quite a funny way. Right there in my mind, I said “oh! Can he make the interview?’ We usually do interviews for all intending members before inducting them. But then, what did I care? I also had a sales target to meet so I collected his money.
A week later, I went to visit a friend of mine and I saw this same guy there. I was a bit shocked. He walked up to me and we started talking about anything and everything. To my greatest amusement, it turned out that this guy was a walking genius. We ended up chatting for 3 hours straight to the extent that I completely forgot why I came to visit my friend. In fact the conversation wouldn’t have ended if he hadn’t said that he needed to leave.
To the topic at hand ‘Personal Presentation’. I like to define personal presentation as the way you present yourself from your physical appearance down to the way you speak and organize yourself most especially before people who are unfamiliar with you. Your friends, colleagues and family relatives do not really care much about the way you present yourself to them because they have become fond of you. Your personal presentation matters most to people who do not know you, people who have either seen you around but not had the opportunity of working with you or people who have never seen you before. To these people, you need to serve a good presentation of yourself. In fact, you need to give them the best presentation of yourself. Failure to do that gives you a bad first impression which could ruin your chances of accessing a lot of opportunities.
There are roughly 4 areas of personal presentation, namely:
- Appearance: Its funny but there are some people who think this only has to do with what and how you dress, the smell that comes out of you really matters, from the hair (especially for ladies), to the breath and the overall body smell. All these put together form a part of your personal presentation, ad careful attention has to be placed on them.
- Communication: The ability to communicate effectively and efficiently is a very strong factor when it comes to personal development. For example, when meeting someone for the first time, especially when in a formal setting,
- Do; good day, Bisola Chucks (with a smile and a firm handshake.
- Don’t; good day, my name is Bisola Chucks (with a smile and handshake)
You want to introduce yourself, and not your name. You will be amazed at what people pick as their description of who you are.
- Confidence: Most times we want to overcome the little voice that scares us in our heads, personally. I believe in using it to ones’ advantage. Ask yourself why you feel a certain way towards a certain situation, then make efforts to resolve it. This also covers self-esteem, the value you place on yourself. The inner belief about the things you can or cannot achieve.
- Time management: Your ability to keep to time when dealing with people, it goes a long way into giving people, even those you’re yet to meet a description of who you are. So, remember when you’re about to give that “deadline” don’t look at how fast/early enough will make you look good, but consider when it will be most convenient for you such that, you’re sure nothing can go wrong. That way, when you say something it will be given regards, and when you fall short, you will be considered, because they will know it to be beyond your control, instead of being seen as “unreliable.”
Personal presentation doesn’t just affect individuals. It also affects teams, group and organizations in general. The only thing is that when it comes to these establishments, we refer to their personal presentation as their branding. Their Modus Operandi i.e. the way they package and sell themselves and the product and services they offer has adverse effect on whether or not, the receiving or buying party would be willing to trust them well enough to give them their money.
Back to the story I started earlier. I ended up asking this guy for his phone number because I was blown away by everything that came out of his mouth. But then, my first impression of him the day I met him was a very poor one. From the time I met him till this very day, I have linked him up to a few projects which turned out quite successfully. Imagine if I had completely written him off after my first encounter with him due to his poor personal appearance.
Essentially the saying is “never Judge a book by its cover – but honestly… it pays to have a presentable one” besides, not everyone will have the time or patience