You have a date or maybe you are attending a company networking event: Then again you could have a dinner meeting with a new client whom you wish to do business, how do you start the meeting?
An introduction seems like a reasonable response but I am curious to know if you have a preparation process that includes an “errors and omissions” checklist, as a part of your larger Impression Management Plan.
Before you enter that room, make your introduction to, approach anyone with a conversation or attempt an elevator statement, it is imperative that you remember to perform a 60 second “sweep” to certify that your outward appearance reflects who you are inside and your intent for that gathering.
Whenever you walk into a room, your physical presence is center stage. That professional signature is noticeable immediately and when it is appealing it can afford instant access into desired opportunities.
On the contrary, if any aspect is out of order, you could be denied entry into circles of influence that can flat line your chances or fuel a negative headline story about you. In a matter of seconds some people will determine whether you appear confident, hygienic, well groomed, credible or worth their time and attention.
Remember, no serious business person ever attends a meeting unprepared. Inner and outward preparation is a must, hence, before greeting anyone in a public forum please consider the following steps, they could save you unforeseen embarrassment.
- As in the night before, prepare prior to the meeting what you will wear.
- Collect materials before leaving your home, i.e., business cards, promotional collateral to take with you.
- Ensure that your clothing fits you appropriately, not too big, nor too small.
- The day before your meeting, assure that you have a fresh hair cut or women, decide on a neat and flattering hair style in advance.
- On the day of the meeting do a once over of yourself from top to bottom in the nearest restroom:
- Confirm that your hair is neat and free of dandruff
- Investigate your nose for remnants of allergies/colds or distracting nostril hair
- Observe your smile for food particles or lipstick stains
- Ladies freshen up your lipstick especially after you eat, reapply frequently or remove it if you are unable to apply a fresh coat
- Look out for unbuttons on the shirts or cuffs
- Scrutinize for open zippers or unbuttoned trousers
- Inspect nails for dirt or smells of food from breakfast or lunch
- Screen clothing for stains or food droppings
I think that you get my point, a quick 60 second preliminary check in the nearest restroom, is a small step to make towards strengthening your impression in business and in your personal life.
Dr. Chris Michelle is a sought after Success Coach who mentors professionals in their careers and personal lives, in areas of Leadership, Project, Image, Brand, Impression, Management, Lifestyle, and Change Management. She does private and corporate training seminars, keynote addresses, event hosting. For information on how to book her for an upcoming training or speaking engagement contact her at Thelifeandstyleexecutive@gmail.com