The Image Counsellor

Archive for January 2009

1225082552_1591513691A great walk commands attention from the audience. It shows your confidence level and your mental state. A friend commented that I walked like an Amazon women going into a battle. After joining the image managment company, we were taught how to walk the proper way. It felt weird initially with practise, you will master the best walk ever!

1) Take a deep breath so that your chest is out. This helps to straighten your back and makes you look taller.

2) Shoulders slightly pulled back.

3) Erect your body comfortably. Make your body look tall by pointing your chin downwards and looking straight.

4) As you walk, swing your arms slightly and take long strides. Not baby steps.

How to pump up your confidence?

Have a mental mantra, “I look real cool!” or ” I feel like a million bucks!” My mantra is: I am the most beautiful woman walking down this street!

Smile! Let people wonder why you are happy!

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A great clip for those learning the basics of Western and Continental dining.

superstock_1320r-190662Do you know… there are plenty of business etiquette with regards to meetings, phone-calls and emails? If you are able to watch all these “workplace manners”, you can earn the respect from colleagues and clients. Even at a Toastmasters meeting, we constantly change our meeting etiquette in order to maximise time and effort.

In a meeting… It’s important to call for a meeting and ensure that everyone is prepared for it. Communicate beforehand the 1. Objectives of the meeting, 2. The duration and 3. The agenda. Let everyone have an opportunity to speak up. Do not disagree with the other party immediately. There is no right or wrong to their opinions simply whether it’s applicable at that point in time and if it’s of priority to the company. Always thank the particpants for contributing to the meeting and appreciate their efforts for attending the meeting. After which, the meeting minutes should be sent so that people involved (present and absentees) are aware of the discussion.

Travelling …If you travel to a foreign destination, it’s advisable to learn about their culture and make appropriate allowances. Some key items you should take note:

– Language that they speak

– Time zone that they are in

– Food customs

– Working schedule

– Holidays

Emailing… Perhaps you email is overloaded with emails, however always make an effort to craft each email because y0u won’t know who is reading it. Be diplomatic when crafting an email and avoid using all CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE IT CAN BE TOO INTENSE FOR THE READER! And might cause a miscommunication of the “tone of voice” from that email. Be professionally courteous. Always address the person and sign off. When you are replying to a question, copy only the question into the reply mail then provide a response.

three20people20talkingBeing in Toastmasters allows me to network with people from various backgrounds. Not only do we learn about public speaking it also allows us to train on our social skills such as coming up with making simple conversation. It does get akward when 2 strangers meet and has “nothing” to talk about. So  here are some ways to practise “small talk”.

The most important thing about starting a conversation is to be as natural and relaxed as possible. If you seem nervous or uncomfortable, it is likely that you will make the other person feel the same way, and that the conversation will either fall flat. So, take a deep breath before approaching the person and make sure that you have something to talk about. The best two topics to open a conversation with are the present situation and something regarding the person that you are approaching.

For instance, at Toastmasters we would introduce ourselves and ask, “How did you get to know about our club?” . This would kick start the converastion and offer us more opportunities to market our club activities.

A possible conversation at an academic or professional setting, ” That was a great presentation. How did you manage to come up with those ideas? Would you like to share with us more on xxx points?”

Sometimes at work I would make comments on the books or things that customers are holding: Wow. I see that you are reading a book on Geomancy. How long have you been into it?” When you are striking such a conversation, it might be to your advantage if you possess some knowledge on the topic. Alternatively, just keep asking questions so as to allow the other party to share more. Be patient and look interested while listening.

Make an effort to ask open-ended questions so as to create a longer conversation. If they offer a Yes or No answer, probably he is not in the mood to talk. It’s about making 2 minds meet and it’s a life long skill. All the best picking up a conversation!

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bracesWent for my over-due dental appointment today. 10min of Scaling and polishing cost me S$55 and it’s worth it because it keeps my gum and teeth healthy and clean. It’s like removing pimples from the face. Getting an X-ray before putting on my braces which will cost me S$140. The price range for braces in Singapore is S$3500 and above. This is excluding surgery and miscellenous charges.

An aquaintant brought up the alignment of my teeth several years back however I did not bother about it. However after joining this image consultation industry I realised the importance of looking good even when you are smiling. You can show off the pearly whites, but are they shiny and aligned? Some might have bunny teeth, others might have chipped tooth due to a fall. Mine? It’s because my jaw is too small to house all my teeth and I had too much coffee as a kid so that explains for the stains. That new smile would be worth more than a million bucks to me. And would certainly bring up my self-esteem.

Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry concerned with alignment of the teeth. Braces are recommended to improve the patient’s bite alignment and/or appearance. With braces problems like crooked or crowded teeth, uneven spacing, overbites or underbites can be corrected. At appointments when wires and elastics are tightened, mild pressure is put on the teeth to shift them gradually into a desired position. Because of this your teeth may feel slightly sore after each visit, but the discomfort is mild and brief. And I would expect to put on the braces about 2 years! Pray for me!

superstock_1569r-9012284One of friends is asking me to conduct a workshop for a group of undergraduates.  So I thought of offering my 2 cents worth of thought. Are you a graduate going for an interview for the every first time? How should you dress and behave?

A young executive…

– No need a suit unless you are sure to be offered a super high flyer job within minutes of the interview. However, a tie and long sleeve shirt is a must for ladies, a pair of pants of skirt

– No sling or bagpack please. You are no longer in school.

– Gel or tie up your hair. Wet hair is a No-No

– Light makeup will do. Lipstick is a must however avoid Hello-Kitty Pink

– Polish your shoes and iron your clothes please… neatness is the best impression you can offer

– It’s alright to be inexperience most importantly learn to Smile and be enthusiastic

– Speak at a moderate speed even though you are nervous

All the best!