Presenting yourself professionally: Looking is just as important as being, but looking professional means more than just having the best suit and smile…
Dress the part
Getting close to needing a haircut? Get it done now, not later. Your clothes shouldn’t just look good, they should also be comfortable. You can’t present your best self when your feet hurt, or you realize your pants are too short or too tight. And don’t forget antiperspirant. Also, take it easy on the aftershave and perfume.You might be thinking these are ‘duh’ items, you may be surprised at how many people overlook them.
Being tense will affect your presentation. Stretch your arms, legs, back, and neck.
Having your stomach growl loudly in the middle of a presentation or interview isn’t something you want to happen. Make sure you eat, but don’t overdo it.
Choose props carefully
Pay attention to the little things when gathering up your materials for your presentation. If you need a drink (and you should have water with you), make sure your glass (and pitcher, if you drink a lot) is clean, simple, and classy. If your presentation requires an easel or whiteboard, be sure that everything is solid, works as it should. If you have handouts, make sure they’re collated, pre-stapled, and stacked neatly or distributed to each audience member’s chair. The less you have to interrupt your presentation or meeting to get everything in order, the better.
Double and triple check your handouts and other presentation materials for spelling errors. They WILL be noticed by others.
Silence your cell
There are a few exceptions to this but NEVER answer your cell, either calls or texts. If you are expecting a very important call, let your audience know before you begin so they aren’t judging you when your wife calls to let you know the moment has arrived for you to welcome your child into the world. If you aren’t expecting any such world-changing news, turn that thing off!
Watch your time
Time is money. Stay within the timeframe allotted to you. If you are being paid for your presentation, don’t end it early. Give the audience what they have paid for. For all things, especially interviews, show respect by arriving early so you can be ready to go on time.
Bring everything you may need to make your presentation, don’t leave it up to your hosts to provide adapters, or other items. Make sure you have enough handouts for the entire audience.
Know your audience
Frame your presentation and interview responses to the audience and interviewer. You can’t do this if you don’t know your audience first. Do the research.
Don’t be a comedian
A little humor will go a long way to help connect to your audience. But don’t use the event as a vehicle for your standup routine. You don’t want to present yourself as a jokester or a comedian. You won’t be taken seriously when serious is called for. And you’re probably not as funny as you think you are. So leave the comedy to the professionals.
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