The biggest gift in life one can possibly give others is not money. Rather, it is to teach others a skill which they can internalize and in turn help others become better people. That truly is a blessing that transcends everything.
 
Welcome to the train the trainer personal grooming workshop for ITE College East. As the name suggests, it is targeted at the lecturers. This is the same as the Image Consultant Coaching Programme (ICCP) that I run for people who are interested to become image consultants in Singapore. 
 
Specially handpicked by the School of Business and Lifeskills, the motivation for the 6 lecturers attending was simple. They would come and learn, and upon completion of the 3 day programme, incorporate the same skills into grooming workshops for students at the ITE College East.
 
Personally, it is a privilege to train the lecturers as all of them have accumulated a wealth of experience from teaching. 
 
From day one when I started training others, I have never seen myself as a teacher of sorts. Rather, I make it a point to speak to my audience at their level. Perhaps one of my greatest assets is to simplify difficult concepts into easy-to-understand bite-size portions. This is done deliberately so as to ensure participants have fun while learning.
 
If you have read my life story, you will know personal grooming holds special meaning for me. From the skinny, sickly, low self-esteemed old me back then, I have witnessed my own transformation to the confident, new me running six businesses. And words in themselves are insufficient to describe the journey I’ve had in the last seven years – one filled with peaks and greater peaks. Gratifying would be a serious understatement. 
 
Believe it or not – personal grooming really has that magic to lift one out of the doldrums. When you bother to dress up, you really feel good. And when someone compliments you (whether it is your smart outfit, nice accessories, perfect hairdo or simply you becoming a lady or gentleman), your feel-good factor will hit through the roof. Extensive research has shown that when someone praises us, our brains release dopamines. We want to relive that feel-good feeling again so we will pay more attention to our appearance. And it just takes off from here.
 
Over the last three days, I have used my skills and expertise to positively impact a new generation of educators as I am equally confident they will in turn spread the importance of grooming and etiquette to their current and future students. 
 
When a society becomes more cultured, it is naturally a good thing. That’s because we have raised our social profile and we know how to interact well with others, including foreign counterparts. People will take us seriously. Think of it as a win-win situation as it benefits both our personal and professional lives.
 
In the grooming universe, every topic matters. This is akin to how every one of our human senses is of equal importance. So whether it is body shapes, styles, colour analysis, dining etiquette or skincare – my passion for each and every topic remains feverish. 
 
If you too are looking to conduct a similar train the trainer personal grooming workshop for your organisation, I’ll be happy to chat with you as I know what true empowerment means.

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Fact is – it’s a rat race out there. 
 
Yet the truth is all of us aspire to do well in our careers. 
 
Doing well comes in different forms but generally, they will never deviate from getting that promotion, receiving more opportunities and ultimately a pay raise. 
 
But have you ever paused to ask yourself if you deserved that pay raise, promotion or opportunity? Good things don’t always happen instantaneously. You have to work for it. 
 
If a picture paints a thousand words and a face could launch a thousand ships, then what would it speak of you?
I think it all boils down to this word – presence. 
 
Having been invited to speak to the staff at Tableau Software today, I further elaborated on what it means to exude “executive presence”. And truth is, I really enjoyed interacting with the fun lot of participants. 
 
It’s hard to confine ‘presence’ into a strict definition. Generally, I would term it as a “charismatic personality who embodies traits of confidence and leadership.” Your presence is built upon what I would call the holy trinity of the 3 Ps.
 


Executive Presence Tip #1: Persona
 

You don’t have to have matinee-idol looks. Neither do you have to be dressed from head to toe in branded labels. The minimum requirement is for you to be dressed appropriately and professionally. Your persona sends an instant message about who you are and what values you represent. 
 
Like it or not, we live in a cruel world where people are constantly judging us by our image. If the image you project shows others you are disheveled, it would not be difficult to associate you with sloppy work. 
 
Remember this – your persona is the first thing people encounter. And in this internet age, your online persona speaks volumes of who you are too. 

 


Executive Presence Tip #2: Posture
 

I’ve had participants ask me this question before – why do people not take me seriously?
 
The reason is because when you have to ‘sell’ or ‘promote’ yourself, your body language changes automatically. 
 
Your posture is everything. Do you have an executive presence that exudes confidence and leadership? Or is your posture one of defeat, resignation and negativity?
 
Think about how you engage others – either one on one or in front of an audience. 
 
Do you send across good vibes and transmit positive energy? Or do you start thinking to yourself when this is going to really end?
 
Whether you are standing or sitting, there are different postures you should adopting. Let’s talk about sitting. Leaning forward while doing your sharing shows you are truly engaged, animated and interested in the conversation.

On the other hand, leaning backwards shows you are detached, disinterested and bored. 
 



Executive Presence Tip #3: Positioning 
 

I love to speak to audience or individuals with gravitas. That’s because if you have gravitas, you would have mastered the third P – that of positioning. 
 
Whether you believe in quantum physics or not is immaterial. The only thing you need to remember is that we are all masses of energy. And energy either attracts other sources of energy or suck them dry. This depends on whether we are talking about positive or negative energy.
 
Do you work on your feelings and thoughts enough for your actions to have a positive effect? Or are you simply carried away by the mundaneness of the job?
 
A high energy person carries with him boundless hope, passion and vision. He is someone we want to team with because positive people have good communication and behavioural skills – traits that are essential to progress in the corporate world. 
 
If you open yourself up to others with the right positioning, people will feel your ‘aura’ and be drawn to you. 

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