Personal Presentation

See Also: How to be Polite

Personal presentation is all about marketing YOU, the brand that is you.  What others see you do and hear you say will influence their opinion of you – so personal presentation is about painting yourself in as positive a light as possible – always.

Organisations spend a lot of time and money working on their image, developing their brand and producing as many positive signals as possible.  Staff in organisations should know that everything they do is marketing for the organisation, every email they send, every phone call they take, every time they interact with a client or customer.  Organisations also spend a lot of time and money recruiting and training the right kind of people to project the right kind of image.

This section of SkillsYouNeed is designed to help you gain more confidence and expertise in presenting yourself positively.  Although personal presentation is key in one-to-one situations such as a conversation, in a group situation such as a meeting, or when giving a presentation such as a talk or speech it is also important in less formal situations, when socialising with friends, for example.  How people perceive you is important to communication and you should always aim to be viewed as positively and confidently as possible.

People who present themselves as confident will be perceived as such by others.

Your appearance and understanding of personal presentation techniques such as effective speaking and positive body language will enhance your communication skills and raise your confidence.

Effective Communication

Personal presentation is about you and how you present yourself in everyday situations.  However, personal presentation always involves at least two people - the person presenting themselves (you) and the person receiving the presentation. It can therefore be described as an interaction. 

Personal presentation is concerned with conveying appropriate signals for the situation and for the other individuals involved.  People who lack self-esteem and confidence may fail to convey their message effectively or fully utilise their skills and abilities because of the way they present themselves.  By improving your personal presentation you improve your communication skills and reduce barriers to understanding.  Everybody presents themselves differently and most can improve their personal presentation.

Our pages: Communication Skills | Barriers to Communication and Improving Self-Esteem provide more information.

Personal presentation is about learning about yourself, being inner-directed and accepting of who you are, your positives and your negatives, and being comfortable with yourself.  Personal presentation is not about being self-conscious or overly concerned with what others think about you. These concepts are closely related to Personal Empowerment.

Areas of Personal Presentation

Self-Esteem and Confidence

Self-esteem is not a static thing; it varies based on numerous factors, different situations and the presence of different people, personal stress levels and change.  Think about how you value yourself and learn to manage the highs and lows of self-esteem, find ways of appearing more confident even when you are not and learn some powerful techniques to boost your self-esteem and learn about your personality.

See Improving Self-Esteem for more.

Confidence is a measure of how well we think we may perform certain roles or tasks. Linked to self-esteem, confidence is how we feel about our ability.

See Building Confidence for more discussion, tips and advice.

Effective Speaking

Your voice says a lot about you and learning how to use it more effectively has many benefits.  Our Effective Speaking page examines aspects of your voice, accent, tone, pitch, volume and encourages you to learn more about your voice and how you use it to its full potential.  Learn to communicate more dynamically, fluently and with passion and enthusiasm.

Visit: Effective Speaking to learn more.

Personal Appearance

The way you dress and take care of your general appearance are important factors in personal presentation, what messages does the way you dress send to others?  Your personal appearance also includes the body language, gestures and other non-verbal messages that you use.  By being aware of positive and negative non-verbal signals you can improve your image and the way people perceive you.

More on our: Personal Appearance page.

Time Management:

If you don't manage your time wisely you are less likely to be able to get everything done effectively. You are also more likely to be disorganised and run late for meetings or other appointments. Poor time management has an effect on how you are perceived by others. Learn some simple techniques to help you improve your time management skills, get more done and avoid being late.

Visit our pages: Time Management and Avoiding Distractions for some ideas of to improve your time management skills.

Aspects of self-confidence in personal presentation can be learned and developed. Through practice, good preparation and an understanding of the control of the voice along with the personal visual images you send through body language.

By utilising simple techniques such as controlled breathing and the use of positive body language, nerves and tension can be reduced. This in turn leads to feelings of increased self-esteem and greater confidence.

This is especially true in more formal situations, culminating in improved communication and therefore better understanding.