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March 2013

What messages are you sending about your professional image?

Do you really know what others in your professional world think of you, even after years of working with them? Do you have a sense of how other people view you when they first meet you? Do you realize what messages, verbal and nonverbal; you are sending every single day? Have you given this some thought?

Self assessment areas on professional image.

Have a look at the following ten areas you need to assess about yourself:

  1. How is your grooming and dress?
    Do you appear clean, neat, and well put together? Are you shoes shined? Is your hairstyle regularly maintained? Are the outfits you choose to wear appropriate for the occasion and the setting? Is your makeup attractive but subtle?
  2. Do people view you as off-putting because you're overly critical, frequently angry, overbearingly rude, distastefully self-centered?

  3. How professional is your speech?
    This includes your choice of words, tone, volume, and speed. Do you use slang, profanity? What is your of tone; Friendly? Considerate? Sincere? Are you too loud or too soft? Too fast or too slow?
  4. Are you competent?
    This concerns your state of alertness, the quality of your verbal contributions, your ability to engage, your talent for responding appropriately.
  5. What does your body language say?
    Your facial expressions, mouth position, eye contact, how you sit or stand, and your degree of comfort in your personal space all tell people a lot about you.
  6. Are you approachable?
    Are you someone people want to talk to, ask questions of, get input from? Do they see a relaxed body with a smiling face?
  7. Are you interested in others?
    Do you show genuine interest in the other person when speaking with her? Do you ask questions to draw her out? Do you empathize with her concerns? Avoid the mistake of making it all about you.
  8. How confident are you?
    This is expressed through your eyes, facial expression, body stance, style of dress, and how you talk. Do you stand tall, look people in the eye, smile, appear comfortable in your own skin? Does your voice sound welcoming and your words offer something of value?
  9. What of you character and integrity?
    Do you come across as trustworthy, good, authentic? In general, they must believe you tell the truth and strive to do what is right in all of life's circumstances. They need to know that you don't wear different faces to suit different people in different situations.
  10. Are you likeable?
    Do people view you as off-putting because you're overly critical, frequently angry, overbearingly rude, self-centered?
  11. Are you credible?
    How many people in your life take you seriously? Do you follow up on what you say you're going to do, speak your mind directly but diplomatically, add value to conversations,? Are you conscious of your impact on others? Do you ask others for their ideas, communicate concern for the world around you?


Influencing the deal through where you sit

Did you know that with carefully planned business seating arrangements, you can actually influence the meeting in the direction of your desired outcome?

Here are a few tips;

When chairing a meeting, the power position in a meeting being held at a rectangular table is always in the center facing the door, where the person can see who is coming and going. When someone comes in late they cannot sneak in as immediately they step into the room their eyes will meet yours.

If seeking to ask for funds or make a suggestion the most cooperative position is next to the decision maker because there are no barriers in between. The next most cooperative position is, with the corner of the table between you and the decision maker. It allows two people to be close while still having the corner of the table as a safety zone.

If you are chairing a meeting of a group of people where you expect there may be two or three people who are all opposed to something you need to discuss, a good way of diffusing the situation somewhat is to seat them all on the same side of the table but a few spaces away from each other.

This is because it will prevent eye contact between them being established which is often used to instigate a hostile debate instead of a fair discussion of a particular issue.

The most competitive position is directly across from each other. The table is a barrier and people may become competitive and defensive when seated across from each other. When tabling a suggestion or asking for funds, this is a position to avoid.

Putting chairs in a circle encourages equal contributions. A horseshoe will recognize and emphasize people at the head of the table. Theater seating or side-by-side gives the group the impression that they are there to listen not to talk.

The table is a barrier and people may become competitive and defensive when seated across from each other.


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March 30th- Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

Are you looking for a Corporate Emcee for your function?

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In this month's newsletter we wish you the best in the deals you plan on making this year and we have included something to help you ace those deals. We hope you are constantly reassessing your professional image and ensuring you tilt the scales in your favour. As always I hope you find these tips useful and continue to let us know your thoughts.

With best regards,
Derek Bbanga.


Public Image has a unique approach to building individual and corporate achievement. Business etiquette, creating a positive image though posture and dress, soft skills, communication proficiency, personal branding and networking expertise are key elements in the Public Image approach to developing professional skills.

Projecting a positive image for business will give you an edge in today's competitive market

Your business etiquette questions answered

Q: My boss and I had gone to a clientís office to make a business presentation. As he began speaking I noticed his zipper was wide open. I decided not to say anything in front of the client. Was this the right thing to do? Njeri

A: This is a tough one Njeri Ė good business etiquette dictates that it is a mistake to not say anything. But you also donít want to embarrass him in public. Depending on how long he is speaking for, Iíd advise that you tell him very quietly as soon as he sits down or even slip him a note. The cost of not telling could be high if it appears that you knew and kept quiet. If you're embarrassed, get someone else to do it. The trick here is to save him from embarrassment in front of the client and to limit his exposure.


In a training situation, you can use circles for small group discussions, a horseshoe for workshops led by internal or external experts and theater seating for a keynote presentation. When you add a raised speaking platform, you are giving special status to the speaker, as well as reduce interaction, setting up more of a barrier between the speaker and the audience.

When looking at making seating arrangements for a business gathering of one sort or another, the number of people attending and whether the meeting is formal or informal will often dictate the style of table and the way in which you seat your guests. Other things to consider include whether there will be a leader at the meeting and if itís only really going to be that person who will be doing the majority of the talking or whether youíre looking for more involvement and interaction between all of those who are present at the meeting. In that case, for example, a round table is much more appropriate.

Other things you might wish to think about when it comes to seating certain people is if you have a special guest or new business contacts youíre trying to impress or if you think certain issues that are going to be discussed are likely to cause conflict between certain people who are going to be attending.


We have recently worked with

Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya (IQSK)
Huru Consult
Tribe Hotel
Dolphins Training and Consultants



Feedback from recent training

“Inspirational, life-changing, mind-blowing, educational, unforgettable. The Seminar at Braeside School left me a different person. Through this seminar, I learned courage, courage to express myself in front of a crowd, courage to be the best and stay the best. The seminar taught me that I have TEN SECONDS to make a good first impression. All in all, thank you for giving me knowledge and a vision, I am now immortal” Faith Chumo