Ever heard of the old adage”first impressions last?” I believe so; if not, there you go.

I am a lady of a certain age; old enough but also privileged to have been exposed, to quite an extent, to different caliber & stature of people, situations, opportunities and the like. In all spaces I have found myself in; or gotten myself to, what has determined what happens or how I am treated after that engagement has greatly been personal presentation.

In case you are wondering what personal presentation is, it basically entails how you portray and present yourself in situations and to people; including how you look, what you do, what you say and how you say it. YOU are at the center and what people see and hear from you as well as how your presence makes them feel will determine their opinion of you. There is something else that is a great part of personal presentation that most times we don’t pay attention to; CONFIDENCE.

Have you ever been somewhere and someone walked into a room and the atmosphere  vibrantly changed or someone is given a chance to speak and everyone can’t help but pay attention to them? That’s what confidence does. It gets you noticed. It is therefore something important to build for personal presentation. I have said this to very many students and young people (older people than me as well) in my endeavor to coach and mentor because I have interacted with those who have content, substance and great potential but no confidence at all hence they don’t get noticed because firstly, they don’t show up where ‘the action’ is and secondly, when they do they don’t get noticed or felt because they don’t confidently ‘sit at the table’ and ‘serve’ themselves to the ‘world’. Confidence really matters in personal presentation.

I cannot end this article without speaking about another aspect of personal presentation that most people don’t pay attention to or take for granted; SOCIAL MEDIA.

We are living in an era where a lot is being done online; it’s a digital world and with the advancement of technology, there are numerous available ways of having a social media presence. The question is, what kind of presence do you have? If I am to look for you on social media, what will I learn about you? What impression will I have of you from what I find? To the category of people who feel like it’s better not to be on social media, I consider that a disadvantage because, in my opinion, social media presents a great opportunity to position yourself. Food for thought (wink).

Do you wish to improve your chances for opportunities? Your personal presentation and the impression you leave matters a great deal and when it comes to job opportunities, allow me to quote a statement from an article in the Youth Employment UK website: “How you appear to the world can have a major impact on your ability to get a job. It’s said that an employer will make a judgment about you in the first 30 seconds after meeting you, which is then quite hard to change during the interview (though not impossible!). So it’s important to make a good impression.”

Keep that in mind.

All the best!

By Wanjiru Kaburu
Author|Communication & Branding Strategist|Coach & Mentor|Editor| Professional Writer & Speaker