PEOPLE make judgments about you the moment you enter a room, whether it is for a group meeting, a presentation or a networking or social event.
Why is it that some people appear to be relaxed, calm and confident while others look nervous and tense?
Which group do you belong to?
Learn the secrets of making an impressive entrance, and have a "wow" effect on people every single time.
1. Think positive.
Look into the mirror and tell yourself that there is nothing to be afraid of because everyone else is probably feeling the same way.
The difference between you and the others is that you dare to face up to your fear and conquer it.
By positive affirmation, you are preparing yourself for the next few steps.
2. Mind your body language.
People who are worried or shy tend to make their body as "small" as possible because sub-consciously, they think that no one will notice them.
You can always spot the shy ones - they walk hurriedly into the room, their eyes are fixed firmly on the floor, their shoulders hunched and hands tightly clasped together.
Make an effort to stand straight by pulling your shoulders back.
Let your arms fall in a natural position, and look in the direction you are going to walk. This way, your body will form a straight line from your head all the way down to your toes.
3. Make eye contact.
A lot of people think that by not looking at other people, they will appear more relaxed. In fact, avoiding eye contact is a no-no in any situation. It makes you appear unconfident or, worse, shifty.
On the other hand, holding eye contact for too long is staring, and people may think you are impolite. As a rule of thumb, survey the room briefly as you walk in, and nod and smile at people.
4. Keep smiling.
It shows that you are friendly and approachable. But remember, there is a difference between a fake and a genuine smile.
When you smile from your heart, the corner of your eyes crinkle up as your lips form a curve and your eyes will sparkle.
When only your mouth moves to form a smile, it will look insincere and people will be able to tell the difference.
5. Dress to thrill.
A well-dressed person gets into the limelight effortlessly. Colour plays an important role.
Different colours evoke different emotions, and there are meanings associated with each colour (see box).
6. Start from the top.
Your hairstyle is very important too, as it is part of your total appearance.
Never show up at meetings and events with unkempt hair, as it gives people the impression that you do not care about many other things either.
A hairstyle that suits your face shape is the key to looking good.
7. Look well-groomed.
People who look grimy or who have body odour will not leave a good first impression, no matter how confident they appear.
Women, do keep your makeup light and elegant - you want to appear sophisticated and professional.
If you are not sure how to go about creating a personal style that will make an impression, ask a style consultant for advice on the best colours to wear, a suitable hairstyle and make-up routine and even your posture.
Soon, you will be on your way to creating a dazzling first impression the moment you enter a room!
symbolises passion, strength, energy and leadership. If you want to be noticed at a function, red is a suitable colour to wear.
But if you are a bit shy, you may consider wearing red as an accent - for example, a bright scarf on a sober-coloured outfit.
On the flipside, red can be perceived as demanding and aggressive.
symbolises power, sophistication, formality and elegance. People attending very formal functions often wear black.
It also has a slimming effect and is a favourite colour with women.
stands for purity, innocence and cleanliness. Because white reflects the full force of the colour spectrum, it can be a strain to look at and creates a barrier.
is a calming and serene colour. h5 blues will stimulate clear thought while lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration.
Blue is a good colour to wear when giving presentations.
is the colour of confidence and optimism, and is therefore appropriate for a shy person.
But too much of it can be overpowering, evoking feelings of fear and anxiety.
communicates warmth and reliability. Wear it discerningly because the wrong style or shape can make you look unsophisticated.