Don’t miss out !!!
Seasonal Sneak Peek
  • Want to be the first to know about the new seasons trends?
  • Learn to avoid the seasonal pitfalls
  • Update your working wardrobe appropriately
  • Professional Impressions will give a free lunchtime workshop to the first 5 companies who book a lunch time session for 30 or more delegates.
    For more information contact Professional Impressions
    Tel: (011) 679–3036    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–
    Which chair to sit in at the meeting and what shoes to wear to the same meeting may appear to be simple choices? But they are not, or shouldn’t be. An ill-considered choice in both could have adverse effects to your career, marking you as lightweight rather than someone to be reckoned with
    Book the Best Seat
    It’s true – you command more respect, have more authority, when you convey your message whilst standing. Unfortunately, much of the time we get to have our say will be from the seated position. This is why you need to ensure that your message is as dynamic whilst seated as it would be when standing.
    One–on–one seating
    • This seating position creates a defensive or competitive atmosphere, when used in business. This may cause either person to become inflexible or aggressive. This type of positioning causes a lot of unease (think of the doctor’s consulting rooms, headmasters’ office) Senior managers prefer this type of configuration as it does draw the battle lines between senior and junior
    • This sitting position works well for a friendly, casual conversation. It aids good eye contact and the ability to use hand gestures. The corner of the table forms a partial barrier, giving a sense of security. Moving a chair, if possible, from directly opposite a person to the corner alleviates tension and creates a more positive outcome
    • When working together this side by side seating encourages cooperation. It is the best seating for presenting an idea and having it accepted. It allows good eye contact and encourages mirroring – copying the other persons body position and gestures
    • Try to sit to the left of the person you are trying to influence, as this places you in their right visual field. You are able to retain 3 times more information about things seen in the right visual field compared to the left
    “It’s not what you say, it’s where you sit”
    Alan and Barbara Pearse
    Meeting Seating
    • Use rectangular tables for short to the point meetings, as they tend to create competitive or defensive positions between people during longer meetings
    • Person 1 has the power position, at the head of the table, and facing the door
    • Number 2 is next in line, but has less power, as he has been placed with his back to the door. He is unable to see anyone entering and leaving which places him at a disadvantage, which could be exploited in a meeting
    • Position 4 is often taken by women as it allows them to be the emotional leader. From here they are able to manage group relationships and encourage others to participate
    • Position 3 may be taken by someone favoured by the senior person – their “right hand man” Historically to the right of the leader was a more favoured and powerful position than to the left. From the point of view of the leader it was difficult to be literally stabbed in the back by the person on the right
    • A round table creates an equality of status and authority. It engenders an atmosphere of relaxed informality when the meeting consists of people of equal status
    • When one person is more senior it changes the dynamics. Those on either side of the senior person are seen as being the next in seniority. The further away you are from the “seat of power” the more ineffectual you will appear
    • So get there early and grab the best seat
    These and other essential etiquette and body language tips are covered by Professional Impressions in their
    Power Etiquette Presentation.
    This workshop will also equip you to become a 'mover and shaker' in a way that is dynamic and relevant to today's working world. For more information regarding our
    Power Etiquette Presentation, please contact us.
    Tel: (011) 679–3036    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–
    Choose the Perfect Shoes
    Putting your best foot forward, stylishly and painlessly is part of creating the desired image. Shoes more than any other accessory indicate where you are heading. Business, leisure or fun?
    • Shop late in the day when your feet are their most swollen, this will ensure correct sizing
    • As with all things don’t go by size alone. Different manufacturers have different sizing e.g. overseas sizes a 38 = 5
    • If shopping for a particular type of shoe, wear the appropriate clothing. It is difficult to shop for knee high boots when you are wearing skin tight jeans
    • Walk on an uncarpeted area to feel how cushioned and comfortable the shoe is as well as how much noise they make. Shoes that clatter are not appropriate for work
    • A tapered toe is the most flattering style, lengthening the leg
    • Avoid ankle straps/tie ups if you have thick ankles - they cut off the length of the foot and emphasize the least flattering part of the leg
    • Unpolished, dirty, scuffed shoes can destroy the total look
    • Rather have 3 pairs of high quality shoes than 50 pairs of synthetic ones
    “Mama always said there is an awful lot you can tell
    about a person by their shoes:
    where they are going, where they’ve been”
    Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump)
    Heel Styles
    • Very long or very short skirts look best with a lower heel
    • Pants are flattered by lower, broader heels. Skirts and dresses are better with a narrower heel
    • Thick winter fabrics require a chunkier shoe than light weight summer fabrics. However remember the chunkier the shoe the more casual the effect created

    • Kitten heels are low and delicate. They are extremely versatile and may be worn with anything from cocktail wear to cropped pants. Great for work bad for thick ankles. Makes them look as if you have tried to fit a large leg into a small shoe

    • Stilettos look best with slim skirts. If worn with pants wear your pants a bit longer than normal, so only the toe peeps out

    • Stacked/wedge heels are very comfortable, especially if you are on your feet a lot. They look very business-like and can be worn with both suits and pants. Fantastic for thick ankles

    • Flat shoes are best worn with cropped pants, longer or very short skirts. If worn with a knee length skirt –the look is very frumpy. Remember flat shoes will always add an element of casualness to the outfit-best for casual Fridays
    • Pumps or court shoes are more comfortable and supportive than slip-ons. With slip-ons your foot muscles work harder ,thus making your feet more tired
    • An appropriate and comfortable heel height is 5-6 cm. if you are not comfortable with high heels; the kitten heel is a compromise, not too high to fall off but high enough to elongate the calf. This creates a longer ,slimmer silhouette
    Unsure if you or your staff are putting the right foot forward?
    Contact Professional Impressions for more information on their Corporate Image Presentations
    Tel: (011) 679–3036    Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–
    To die for ...
    • Shoes to aspire to – come from names such as Manolo Blahnik (Sex in the city), Salvatore Feragmo and Jimmy Choo. Closer to home shoe nirvana can be found in places like Socrati, Nine West and Preview. Realistically- Rage, Step Ahead, Foschini and ABC are definitely worth popping into
    Correct Colour choices
    • Burgundy and chocolate brown feature strongly this upcoming season
    • Black shoes – either a boot , closed shoe or sandal is a wardrobe staple and will go with almost anything
    • With lighter coloured outfits avoid white – a fatal image mistake, even if fashionable. White shoes look cheap and nasty, make your feet look enormous and always look scuffed
    • For men the only colours necessary in a business wardrobe are black and a very dark brown. Grey shoes need to be consigned to the bin
    Self help tips for the Shoe–a–holic
    • Large feet need to avoid very pointy toes, rather choose a square or oval cut. A dark rounded shoe like a Chanel type will make your feet appear smaller
    • Thick ankles or heavy calves need to avoid ankle or T- straps. Always wear some heel to elongate and slim calf. Avoid shoes which are either too heavy or too delicate. Your best shoe choice is a court shoe or sling back with a high sturdy heel
    • Thin ankles-avoid hefty heels a slender heel is more flattering
    • If you always wear trousers because you hate your legs-boots will unfold a new way of dressing. Your best bet are knee-high boots, they need to be a close fit with no gapping
    • If you have chunky calves buy pull on boots
    • Mid calf and ankle boots create horizontal lines which can give you the illusion of thick ankles and fat calves
    • A lack of height always needs some heel. Don’t wear anything excessively high, you will appear ready to keel over
    • Tone shoes and stockings to your hemline to create a vertical line of colour which makes you appear taller
    Men – put your best foot forward
    • Fashionable right now is a tapered shoe with a square rather than pointed or round toe
    • A formal work shoe would be a lace up or a lace up brogue ( has punched hole detailing) would also be acceptable
    • Slip on shoes need to be in a good quality leather with a discreet clasp or buckle. Synthetic slip-ons tend to loose their shape easily and are more casual. Slip-ons when bought need to be a snug fit , as they will stretch and if too loose flap around unbecomingly
    • The buckle of your shoe and your belt must be in the same metal
    • In a smart shoe the sole tends to be thinner. The thicker and more synthetic the sole appears the more casual the shoe becomes
    • Shoes and belts must always be in the same colour, easy for black not so easy with browns. They must be the same shade of brown
    • Socks need to be long enough , to avoid expanses of hairy flesh showing when you cross your legs
    • Socks may be the same colour as your shoe , but are always darker than the trousers
    • Using a shoe horn makes getting into shoes without wrinkling socks easier. It also prevents damaging the top edge of the heel
    Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
    365 style and fashion tips for womenC Piras & B Roetzel
    365 style and fashion tips for menC Piras & B Roetzel
    5 steps to professional presenceSusan Bixler & Lisa Scherrer Dugan
    Ladies a guide to fashion and styleC Piras & B Roetzel
    What you wear can change your lifeTrinny & Susannah
    Secrets of Styleby the editors of Instyle
    The Lucky shopping manualKim Frances & Andrea Linett
    A new guide to Business etiquetteFrances Beasley
    The definitive book of body languageAllan & Barbara Pearse
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