3 Tips to Boost Your Personal Professional Presentation

We would all like to kickstart our career on a promising note. Who wouldn’t, right? 
With this premise in mind, today marks the dawn of yet another exciting workshop. Welcoming 35 participants from the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA), it is heartening to see the fresh faces in today’s personal professional presentation workshop. Most had just graduated from university.
The title of the workshop may seem a mouthful. Yet to put it simply, it means learning how to interact with other people in a professional situation. This is crucial as no man is an island. Instead, in a corporate environment, we are constantly surrounded by colleagues, supervisors, subordinates and even suppliers. It is therefore imperative to exhibit one’s best professional behavior always. 
Let me share three simple tips with you on how to boost your personal professional presentation.

Tip 1: Focus on Your Communication
Many of us speak without thinking. Words, once spoken, cannot be unspoken. Thinking on our feet is perhaps one of the most difficult skills to acquire. What makes this even more challenging is just talking rapidly or mumbling along…especially in stressful situations.
That’s why it is always best to practise my three second rule before saying anything. Count to three before you open your mouth to reply or rebut. In this manner, you will have at least three seconds to think of what you are going to say. Use these precious seconds to organize your thoughts and in turn watch your life get organized.
A rapid-fire response will water down the strength of your presentation. And ‘presentations’ we do everyday to everyone. It’s interesting how we are either trying to sell someone something (a proposal, concept or idea) or being sold something by someone. 

Tip 2: Focus on Your Body Language
Now that you have realized the importance of saying it right and well, let’s move on to tip 2. It is an open secret that non-verbal cues (better known as our body language) can often give us away. It’s just like how many of us are physically present, but mentally detached or spiritually light years away.
Your body language can betray your thoughts and emotions. One look and I can tell if you are being congruent. The simplest body language we should all observe is the way we sit. Slouching, fidgeting, tapping your fingers, and swiveling in the chair are just a few of the many non-verbal distracters that can scuttle an otherwise strong and professional presence. Be aware of other potentially distracting behaviors related to eye contact and hand gesturing.

The top three affirmative body language techniques we must all observe would include a positive body posture (either sitting or standing), genuine eye contact and a great smile. Master these three well and you are on your way to career success. 

Anyone out there wants to do business or engage a slouchy, grouchy and shifty-eyed person? I certainly won’t!

Tip 3: Focus on Your Image

Clothes make the man. This is sad but true. The two biggest aspects of a positive image stem from your dress and personal hygiene.

Crumpled shirts, body odour, armpit hairs and oily faces should be banished. Instead, consider investing in professional looking attire (especially in the right colours and styles) that suit you. Wearing it right certainly boosts your confidence in the corporate world. 

Be mindful that looking professional does not mean you have to spend a lot of money. Choose your attire carefully, investing in classic pieces. By this I mean items which you can wear for a considerable amount of time. For guys – it will mean good Oxford cotton business shirts. For ladies, it will mean skirts that are not too short (and yet flatters your lower body). Pay attention to small details and make a positive first impression.
Remember, if you want others to value you, first you must value yourself. And this invariably means showing our best side each and every time we interact with others. 
Here’s wishing all 35 new DSTA hirers the best in your careers!

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