5 Tips To Create A Positive First Impression – Grooming Talk for Manulife Singapore

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then what words will they speak of you? 
This age-old question formed the backdrop of my one hour grooming talk for Manulife Singapore today. Organised as part of the staff learning day, it was great to see the staff of this insurance giant gather in the training room to pick up valuable learning grooming tips.
Fret not if you were not present as let me share the 5 tips to create a positive first impression.

Tip No. 1: It Takes 0.1 Seconds To Create A First Impression
Many people believe that it takes 3 seconds or even 5 seconds to create a first impression. They cannot be more wrong. 
Princeton psychologists have revealed after a battery of experiments that it takes 0.1 seconds to create that first impression. Love it or loathe it, now you know why some dates don’t last very long. If you can’t stand the other person’s face, do you think you will force yourself to stay a minute longer? 
As I did share before in my earlier blogs, first impressions, albeit short, are crucial as they are stored in the deeper recesses of our subconscious. You may not recall a person’s name. But you certainly can trigger that image almost instantly.

Tip No. 2: Your Self-Image Is Your Trump Card
Like it or not, you are your own brand. Your self-image that you create in the minds (and may I add hearts) of others is your passport to success or mediocrity in life. 
If you project a positive self-image, people will be more likely to see you as a positive, dependable and confident person. On the other hand, if you project a negative self-image, others will view you as dejected, untrustworthy and worse, a parasite!
The fastest and easiest way to project a positive self-image is through your body posture. The “chest out stomach in” reminder we have heard since the younger days is not without its merit. When I stand straight, I am standing tall. A confident stance conveys wonders. Try it today!
Tip No. 3: Work on Your Body Language
Communication comprises the verbal and non-verbal. Let me call the non-verbal your body language. It is interesting that your body language speaks volumes more than your words. Sometimes, words can be superfluous in themselves. So speak less and work on your body language.
The holy trinity in body language includes your smile, eye contact and handshake. There’s no escaping the friendly smile, inviting eye contact and firm handshake. 
I am not a Westerner. I am an Asian. As an Asian, I don’t openly embrace nor peck others on the cheeks. I rely on my handshake, smile and eye contact to convey my thoughts and emotions. 


Tip No. 4: Remember That Less is More
I always tell my participants that less is more. Unless you want to be mistaken as a walking Christmas tree, do not wear more than 8 pieces of accessories on you. 
Accessories include anything ranging from spectacles, necklaces, rings to belts, hairbands and watches. So start counting…1, 2, 3…
In order to really stand out from the crowd, I prefer to wear a statement piece. A statement piece is THAT one piece that wows the audience and draws their attention. Think of it like your heirloom. How many heirlooms can you have? It’s just one and only one. So you can wear a simply dress but accessorize yourself with a statement necklace piece. Got it?

Tip No. 5: Dress Appropriately For The Occasion According To The Dress Code
Nothing can be more embarrassing than not dressing appropriately for the occasion. Every occasion demands a certain type of dress code. If you are unsure, always do your homework by asking a certified image consultant for advice.
For those who are still clueless, the most common dress codes will include formal, executive, smart casual and casual. 
Formal means suit and tie for guys; and an evening dress for ladies. Executive means long-sleeved shirt and pants for guys; and blouse-skirt combo or dress or jacket for ladies. Smart casual dictates no jeans. Strictly no jeans. Casual means anything goes, as long as you feel comfortable.
Dressing is an art. It is not a science. There are no hard and fast rules to follow. If you really would like one, then my advice would be to work on your first impression. Make it right the first time and every time!

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