Personal Presentation – an Overview

personal presentation

What is Personal Presentation and Why is It Important?

Personal presentation is a communication skill, and communication is one of five important life and work skills you can build as a Young Professional.

Personal presentation means the way you present yourself in everyday situations, and more stressful ones like job interviews. How you appear to the world can have a major impact on your ability to get a job. It’s said that an employer will make a judgement about you in the first 30 seconds after meeting you, which is then quite hard to change during the interview (though not impossible!). So it’s important to make a good impression.

You are your own brand, and what you do and say, as well as your appearance, is all part of that. This means dressing smartly, being clean and having good personal hygiene, and carrying yourself well. Presentation means making a strong first impression and appearing professional.

Whilst employers shouldn’t judge you on how you look, appearing neat and confident is important to show that you’ve made an effort. To be a professional you need to dress the part, which means appropriate clothing for your industry. It could be a suit and tie, or for some jobs particularly in the creative industries there’s more of a relaxed vibe. Whatever the dress code presenting yourself well means you’ve done your research and taken the time to fit in. Standing out can be good but you don’t want to be the only person in the office wearing trainers.

Developing and Demonstrating Good Self Presentation.

It’s fairly easy to improve your personal presentation. Start by looking into the sort of clothes people wear in your chosen industry. For an interview it’s good to wear a slightly smarter version of this. If in doubt it’s a safe bet to wear a suit or trousers/skirt and a blouse or smart top for an interview. Even in a casual role you want to show you take the job seriously at the interview. Make sure everything is clean, dry, and not wrinkled. Laying your outfit out the night before is a good idea, especially if you work in an office environment this will help you ensure you look the part every day.

Another part of personal presentation which isn’t as obvious is confidence. If you are confident people will be able to tell when you walk into a room, and will view you as well presented. If you don’t feel confident you can use the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ trick – stand tall, pull your shoulders back, make eye contact and smile. Tell yourself you are confident and you might find that soon you are.

You are a whole person, and as such everything you say or do in public counts towards the impression of you that others create. This includes social media, so make sure your accounts are presenting you in the best possible way. If you’ve got things on there you don’t think are particularly professional change your security settings, or remove them. It’s really important to make sure you’re aware of what you put out there!

Showing you have good personal presentation is as simple as turning up on time, dressed professionally and appropriately, and appearing confident and enthusiastic about the role. If you get that right you’ll make a great first impression, and can go on to talk about your excellent communication, teamwork and people skills – which all go towards presenting you in a positive way. If you use the STARRS method as well you’ll certainly impress.

Further reading:

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