Etiquette Boss: First impressions

September 30, 2014 Phillipa Morrish
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Enter a room with presence

I once sat in a restaurant and had a first-hand view of the power of presence. A lady walked in, and I observed the slow turn of heads as she walked by. Men and women alike paused momentarily to glance, and I believe, wonder “who is she?” They did not know who she was, but they knew she was “somebody.”

She had the power of presence. Friend and foe alike admit that William Jefferson Clinton has it in spades. Presence is hard to define, but we know it when we see it. It is a combination of confidence, plus a sprinkle of je ne sais quoi.

Most people walk into a room without thinking of the impression they make upon entry. They are often preoccupied, so they enter with their entire body. This is the normal way to enter a room, and nothing is wrong with it because it is the manner of the masses.

However, do note that when people are late for a meeting, or consciously trying to be invisible, they enter shoulders first with their eyes slightly down. The ‘shoulders first’ entry gives the impression of a lack of confidence or  ‘making themselves small.’

This method of entry is fine if done with deliberate intent. However when one desires to enter with presence, the opposite method has to be used. Instead of shoulder first, it is hip or leg first. The leg enters the room a brief second before the shoulder is seen. Such a person has a stride and an open posture, with eyes straight ahead instead of down.

The impression is one of confidence. If  accompanied by a smile, the effect is enhanced. People who sit slumped over a computer many hours of the day, should make extra effort to project confidence.

BEAUTY TIPS: Celebrity Weight Loss Tips

Salma Hayek skips dinner for a couple of nights when she is trying to lose those few extra pounds. She is not a calorie counter.

Kim Cattrall squeezes lemon juice on her French fries to cut out the extra oil.

Marilyn Monroe ate spaghetti with a tightly cinched belt to avoid overeating.

Elizabeth Hurley said that she lost her post pregnancy weight due to drinking lots of watercress soup.

Phillipa Morrish is the president of Etiquette Training International.

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