Look the Part
This goes for your appearance as well as your marketing materials. If you are a business owner that has marketing materials for your business (website, brochures, business cards, books etc) they should all look like a matched set in color, design, etc. When it doesn’t it doesn’t look as professional. The most important thing to consider with marketing materials is to look like the picture on your business card!
Have you ever met someone and received their business card only to do the “head tilt” with a “huh?” look on your face because they look nothing like the headshot on their business card ? Some people have a photo from 20 years ago on their card or they’ve changed their hair color or style. This is big deal for speakers. If you audience is looking at the program and you walk out on stage to speak and look nothing like your photo, they won’t hear the first part your talk because they are attempting to reconcile the “who is that?” question in their minds.
Who is that? That doesn’t look like the speaker in the program. Is it the same speaker? Wait, the name is the same. I guess it is the same speaker with an older photo. By the time they go through that dialog, they may have missed your introduction to your talk and have to catch up or maybe lost because they didn’t hear it. The same holds true with any profession where you have a public image.
You also want to look the part for your environment you are going into. If it’s a job interview at a construction site you wouldn’t show up in a suit. Do show up looking sharp though. You don’t want to wear your “work clothes” to the interview. Even if it’s a dressed down environment, dress a level or two up for the interview.
I know of an 18 year old that went to a pizza place for a job interview. She showed up to the interview with raggedy jeans and a t-shirt with some inappropriate saying on it. It’s a pizza place, she shouldn’t show up in a dress for the interview, but she should show up in maybe a nice pair of pants and shirt. Of course she didn’t get the job and she wondered why. She was a friend of my daughters and my daughter told her it was probably because she didn’t present a professional image.
Look the part for whatever negotiation situation or discussion you are having. It will add leverage to your position without saying a word.
See you next week!
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, MSgt USAF Retired