Your Mom might have written you a sick note before your school oral examination. Who is going to bail you out of having to speak now? We are ... And we are also going to dress you in the latest winter styles so you look the part as well!

Simply Breathtaking!
On a yearly basis Professional Impressions assist Miss South Africa with projecting a powerful impression 24 hours a day! Recently we spend a day with the gorgeously dynamic Claudia Henkel covering key aspects, such as the correct colour spectrum to bring out her piercing blue eyes. We helped demystify the complexities of the different levels of dress at the various functions she attends, as well as guiding her in the correct garment choices to enhance her attributes (specially those really long legs)
From the team at Professional Impressions, Claudia, we wish you the greatest success at Miss Universe on the 31st May in Bangkok. We know you will make us proud!
It’s that time of year again!
Looking for that extra special Mothers Day gift?
Pamper your mother, sister, wife with a personalised style consultation that will leave her looking and feeling as great as she deserves to be, all in the comfort of her own home. This experience will boost her confidence and self-esteem and she will love you so much more for it!
Contact us for a tailor-made Personalised Consultation and make this year one that this mother is not likely to forget.
Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Be a World Class Speaker
Public speaking is considered by most to be a fate worse than death. We spend our lives avoiding having to do it, and make ourselves sick when faced with the prospect. Have you considered, that every time you present an idea at a meeting, ask for a raise or try and impress your new date you are in effect giving a speech?
Whenever you open your mouth, whether to an audience of one or one thousand, you want to get a specific message across, don’t you? You want their buy in
“Public speaking is the most stressful thing a man can do with his clothes on!”
Anonymous
Here are some tips to ease the pain of a presentation:
Delivery – Flexibility is key to getting your audience to connect with you. Be careful of a flat monotone voice, no one will get excited. Practise varying how you speak from calm, energised, upbeat and everything in between.
The pitch of your voice also lends credibility to what you say. When we are nervous our voices tend to rise to an unpleasant mouse like squeak. Lowering your voice to a deeper, but believable pitch makes you appear more controlled.
Watch your pace when speaking. Nerves make us speak too fast-we just want to get it over with. Slow down. Vary the pace, a slightly faster pace at times, makes you appear animated and enthusiastic.
Pause. If you don’t stop to gather your thoughts, your audience doesn’t get a chance to assimilate your ideas either. Don’t fill a natural pause with ums and ers, this makes you appear uncertain and unprepared.
Don’t be concerned if you have an accent, this is never a barrier to making a good impression. Ensure you are clear though, in your diction, pronunciation, and meaning.
Remember you have a volume dial. Move it up and down as necessary. Too loud and you come across as aggressive and overconfident. Too soft and you appear weak and nervous.
Be Memorable
You need to be able to describe what you are talking about in one sentence. If you are not clear what your objective is your audience will never be either
Have a clear structure.
Never start by saying “Thank you for taking the time ... ” Or “Welcome Ladies and Gentlemen ...
Start with a strong opening statement.
The opening is followed by 2-3 “Points of Wisdom” these expand on your main premise. These points need to be fleshed out with stories, statistics, suggestions etc. End with a powerful conclusion-send people out energized and ready to take action.
Never end by asking for or taking questions, rather ask for them before your close
Make it Personal ...
To make an emotional connection with your audience they have to be moved. Use personal, not borrowed stories
Remember WIFM – what’s in it for me? Your audience needs take home value
Use more “you” rather than “I” words to ensure their emotional buy in
“The currency of human contact is stories. People remember what they “see” in their minds”
Patricia Fripp
Never Ever ...
  • Swear
  • Give offence – be gender and race sensitive
  • Tell risqué jokes
  • Over use jargon – not everyone may know what you mean
  • Over use fillers “As it were ...”   “In my opinion ...”
If you wish to improve and enhance your presentation “strengths”, minimize your “PIPS” (personal improvement points) and to confidently perform the “unthinkable” ... i.e. to deliver an effective presentation in front of an audience ...
Contact us at Professional Impressions
Cell: 082 895 7924    email: prof–imp@mweb.co.za
Cuddle up with Winter’s latest styles
This is the season of contrasts-everything goes! The key is to mix elements together to create your own signature look.
You must at all times remember (if you are going to work) you need to look professional. Don’t be slave to fashion, pick and choose what flatters you.
Trends
  • Vintage Vogue – the timeless elegance of the 40’s and 50’s. Delicate fabrics with feminine detailing
  • Bohemian Glamour – layering of different textures and colours. Think 70’s with chunky knits worn with small prints or florals
  • Ladylike Look – the look is polished eg tweed chanel jackets with pencil skirts and stilettos
  • Power Sexy – masculine lines feminised with softer fabrics e.g. wide legged pants combined with satin 70’s pussy bow blouses
  • Cowgirl Chic – denim, suede, corduroy, poncho’s and boots with stitching detail complete the picture
Fabrics
    The essential fabric is rich tweed (frayed at edges). Brocade and velvets are the furore. Satin is used for embellishments. Faux fur is a must in stoles, capes, wraps, gloves. Moc croc and fabrics feature in bags, belts and shoes
Shapes and Styles
    Jackets are cropped, tailored and belted with a thin Chanel – type belt or silk ribbon tie. Be aware that cropped jackets do not suit everyone-specially if you are carrying extra weight on the hips and bum area!
    Twin sets appear in all shades and fabrics
    Wide legged culottes are popular worn with long boots
    The Poncho is a must have as long as it is not too bulky and is more assymetrical in shape
    Panelled cut skirts are knee length or longer.
    Shirts have pleats, frills or stripes
    The wrap dress makes a return. Worn softly draped to just below the knee
    Ballerina or wrap tops are a wardrobe essential
Colours
    Colours are bold and rich. From aubergine, amethyst to berries.
    Hot chocolate and beige are this seasons neutrals. Accent with soft , smokey pinks, turquoise or shades of green, from lime to emerald. Metallics like gold, pewter, copper make for interesting contrasts-use in small quantities
Details
    Clothing is embellished with ruffles, vintage lace inserts, beading and sequins. Satin bows, sashes and detailing is everywhere
Patterns and Prints
    This is more of a texture season, with interest supplied by layering. A touch of animal prints (leopard is popular) in a scarf, belt or bag. Argyle, pringle knits, tartan is back-use in small doses
Accessories
    Rummage in Granny’s old jewellery box or haunt thrift stores for vintage brooches, clasps, chandelier earrings
    Faded roses are worn on everything from a suit to a jersey
    Scarves abound- soft and sheer or warm and chunky
    Look for removable fake fur trim on jackets and jerseys for vintage glam
    Belts are back- slim or thick, in leather or satin with beautiful detailing or buckles
    Textured stockings ensure cosy toes
    Wear them with your round toe Mary Jane’s or vintage t-bar look shoes. Shoes are detailed with bows, roses, satin trim. Fabrics for shoes include suede, satin, tweed
    Handbags are round or oval shaped. Fabric is bejewelled or sequinned, very retro with chain handles
And so to Men ...
Men’s fashion thankfully does not change as dramatically as women’s.
The changes are more subtle, less profound
Suits
    Pinstripes still rule. Why not try them in a warm chocolate colour? Multi-striping is in vogue – your pinstripe suit is worn with striped shirts and striped ties-keep in mind scale!
    The single vent jacket is popular again, single breasted mostly 3 or 2 buttons
Shirt and tie combo’s
    It’s all about the dynamic combination of checks, stripes and polka dots. When combining two patterns of the same design, the size of each should be as different as possible. Warm up to some bright colours like burnt orange, lime, neon pink
Colours
    Retro purples and pinks liven up grey boardrooms. Blue is always safe, try this seasons favourite turquoise. Chocolate brown compliments all these colours
Fabrics
    Invest in corduroy, velvets, cashmere. Combine them for unexpected sophistication. Layer them for style
Key Casual Items
    Cargo pants, teamed with a zip through track top
    Deconstructed (unlined) blazer
    Frayed raw edges and finishes on hems (for casual wear)
    Long sleeved Johnny collar shirt (looks like a plain long sleeved golfer)
Professional Impressions would like to credit the following for information and images used in this article:
30 Minutes to Make the Right ImpressionEleri Sampson
Making PresentationsTim Hindle
Marie Claire April 2000, October 2002
The 10 Biggest Traps to Avoid When You SpeakPatricia Fripp
Men’s HealthApril 2005
True LoveApril 2005
Fair LadyApril 2005
Elle2005
Cosmopolitan2005
Faconnable catalogue 05Ahmed Surtee–Grays
FeminaApril 2005
Should any of your friends, family or colleagues be interested in Professional Impressions and the services we have to offer, please feel free to pass this on to them.

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Make Your First Impression the Lasting One
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