Our aim through this E-Letter is to encourage you to build your self-confidence in all areas of your life. Through this we hope you will challenge yourself to excellence in both your professional and personal life.

Bringing you the A B C of Impression Management
Attitude, Business Etiquette and Corporate Image


A Confidence Tune-Up

True confidence is not about being loud, arrogant or pushy. It is simply about having a deep-seated trust in yourself and your abilities.

Even the most self-assured person has an area where their confidence needs an up, whether it is learning to say no and mean it or how to stand up to a demanding boss.

For example think about the confidence you have that the sun will rise and set every day. This is not presumptuous but rather a firm belief that this is simply the way things are.

Remember this feeling when you are in a situation that challenges your self-confidence.

Confidence Wobblers

When you can identify those things that cause you to doubt yourself, you will have taken a huge step towards recognising them for what they are.

Know yourself and you will know what triggers your lack of self-confidence.

Go through this list of searching questions. Be brutally honest with yourself and if you need, make notes of your observations in a private journal or diary.

  • Does criticism from your parents, friends or colleagues cause you to doubt yourself?
  • Have you felt excluded and have a desire to be accepted, no matter what the personal cost?
  • Are you a perfectionist that is afraid to try anything new in case you donít excel at it?
  • Are you afraid of failure or that you wonít live up to your own or otherís expectations?
  • Are you afraid that others wonít like you if you say no?
  • Do you place a lot of pressure on yourself to meet standards set by others?
  • Are you always trying to be something you are not?
  • Do you constantly compare yourself to others?
  • Are you carrying someone elseís burdens or responsibilities at work or at home?
  • Do you shun asking for help for fear that others might think less of you?
  • Are you always setting unrealistic goals for yourself that deep down inside you know you canít achieve.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
– Eleanor Roosevelt

This month the team at Professional Impressions had the opportunity to spend a day with this yearís reigning Miss S.A Joan Ramagoshi.

We assisted our lovely young representative to build and boost her self-confidence as she prepared to jet off for the 2004 Miss Universe Pageant. We focused on dressing for the many functions she has to attend, day to night make-up and packing correctly.

Joan, from the team at Professional Impressions, we wish you all the best and we know that you have the ability to achieve whatever your heart desires.

Miss South Africa with Haydee

Joan was an inspiration to us as she reconfirmed our firm belief that true beauty comes from within.

Confidence Recipe

Remember when you were a child.
Could you ride the first time you got on a bicycle?
Could you hold a pencil and write perfectly the first time you tried?
Think about how easily and naturally these things are for you today.

What would have happened if you had given up and not got back on that bicycle or never practised your handwriting?
As a child you were not afraid to try new things.
We welcomed each new learning experience and were not afraid of failing.
This confidence is naturally yours.
Hidden under layers of years and the complications of adulthood, this ability is still deep within you.

Use this Confidence Recipe to look deep within yourself and reconnect with this natural ability.

1. Get up after a stumble.
So what if you didnít get it right the first time.
Thatís no excuse not to try again.

2. Change your perspective.
"If you canít solve a problem, itís because youíre playing by the rules."
– Anonymous

3. Have a vision.
Create a vision of how you want to live, write it down and refer to it every day.

4. Know your definition of success.
Decide what success means to you personally and donít allow others to pressurise you into meeting their standards of success.

5. Be honest with yourself.
If you canít sing it is not fair on yourself to aim to become an Idols Star.

6. Praise yourself.
Each small step is a victory, savour and celebrate each one.

7. Fall in love.
Love yourself and love life.
This will give you the inner strength to try new things and new experiences without fear.

"Perfect love casts out fear."
– The book of John, The Holy Bible


B etter Ways to Work a Room

For some of us there is nothing more terrifying than having to attend an important business or social function.
We canít help but feel that we are on display.

So how do we live through these situations and come out of each stronger and more capable than before?

The answer is to master your self-branding through Confidence and self-awareness.

"Well," you ask, "How exactly do I do that?"

Be Your Own PR Manager: Learn how to be your own PR Manager by marketing yourself through self-branding.
Networking Made Easy: Turn a social function into a business opportunity through the way you communicate and relate to others.
Be Your Own PR Manager

Developing social skills is one of the best ways to self- brand.
It is a form of free advertising, where you get to control the message.

Use your "packaging" to your advantage.

Dress for the position you aspire to, not the one you are currently in.

Your clothes and grooming tell a story of how you perceive yourself and it gives others visual clues as to how they should respond to you. When you take pride in yourself others will believe that you take equal care in how you conduct business.

Make others feel good.
Likeability is how you make others feel about themselves.
People have a deep need to feel important and appreciated.
Always take time to really listen to others, to discuss their interests and their successes. This ability will encourage others to develop a healthy trust and respect for you.

Pay genuine compliments
A sincere compliment can disarm even the most foreboding people and instantly put them on your side.

The way you feel on the inside affects how you look and behave on the outside.

Professional Impressions offers a dynamic half day workshop that will encourage you to
Take Your C onfidence to a New A ltitude.

Focusing on Attitude Renewal – the way we think,
Projecting a Positive Self-Esteem – the way we feel,
and A Confidence Tune Up – what is reflected on the outside

This workshop will leave you hungry for more as you discover a new powerful perspective on life. You will learn to stop reacting and start creating while applying the secrets of the most confident people to your everyday life.

Contact us for more details on this corporate workshop.
Tel: (011) 679-3036     E-mail: prof-imp@mweb.co.za


Networking Made Easy

Networking is about meeting, cultivating and maintaining as many business relationships as possible.

By boosting your social skills you will be able to get the best from every function you attend.

The more you expose yourself to networking situations, the easier it will become and the more your sphere of influence in your personal and professional life will grow.

  • Make a grand entrance – Leave your self-consciousness at the door.
    When you enter a room, stop for a moment at the door. This gives everyone a chance to acknowledge that you have arrived. Then focus on a point near the back of the room. Smile as if you have seen someone you know and start walking towards that section of the room. Chances are you are bound to meet a friendly face along the way and you can then use the opportunity to introduce yourself.

  • You donít know anyone?
    Find the PR Manager or the person responsible for organizing the function and ask them to introduce you to other guests.

  • Watch your gestures.
    • Walk tall and smile warmly and freely. Good posture and body language convey a confident demeanour while a friendly face will make you seem more approachable. Whatever you do donít paste a goofy grin on your face as people can spot a fake from a mile away!
    • Arrive expecting to have fun and you probably will. People are naturally attracted to others who are laughing, smiling and generally enjoying themselves.
    • Maintain eye contact throughout a conversation but donít stare too intently, you might scare people or look too confrontational.
    • Never yawn, cross your arms or turn your back to someone while they are talking to you. These gestures create barriers and will offend the person who is having a conversation with you.

  • Do your homework.
    • Prepare beforehand by knowing who will be there. Find out what their position is as well as other facts you can get to know about them, such as their hobbies.
    • Find out what the dress code will be and dress appropriately

  • Initiate conversation.
    • Practice initiating conversations in low-risk situations such as at the supermarket.
    • A good idea is to buy a newspaper before attending a function and read up on whatís going on in the world. When your conversation relates to current issues others will think that your thinking in business trends is current too.
    • Make use of open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing.
      eg. "What line of work are you in?"
      Avoid the typical line, "So, what do you do?", as this sounds insincere and no one wants to feel they are being categorized according to status and position.
    • When someone else joins a conversation, update them on what you were discussing and invite them to share their views. This will make them feel accepted.
    • Never talk with your mouth full.

  • Practice the art of listening.
    God gave us two ears and one mouth so that we could listen twice as much as we speak.
    • Repeat a personís name in conversation. This shows that you are focusing on them and it will help you to remember their name in future.

  • Keep one hand free.
    Decide whether to hold a glass or a cocktail plate and keep your right hand free for shaking hands with others.

  • Move around
    • Donít get into a comfort zone with a particular group of people.
      Remember, you are there to make contacts.
    • Donít offer people your business card until you have spent some time conversing with them or you will come across as either a shark or desperate.


What you donít know can destroy your career.

Professional Impressions offers corporate workshops that will guide you through the fundamentals and finer points of business etiquette, equipping you to become a Ďmover and shakerí in a way that is dynamic and relevant to todayís working world.
For more information regarding our P ower E tiquette Presentation,
please contact us.

Tel: (011) 679-3036     E-mail: prof-imp@mweb.co.za


Professional Impressions
would like to credit the following for information used in this newsletter:

Online With The Professional Image – Corporate Communications Consultants
More than 60 ways to make your life amazing – Lynda Field
6 Habits of effective woman – Marie Claire July 2000
A Modern Girlís Guide to Etiquette – Sarah Ivens

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