First impressions are extremely important in business; nothing makes a better first impression than personal poise. History is full of examples of people who have attained great wealth and power through charm and poise, rather than through business skill or intellectual achievement. Although gaining poise won't guarantee wealth and power, it may lead to a successful job interview or a favorable business contract.
Things You'll Need
- Full-length mirror
- Video camera
- Audio recorder
Meditate regularly. Poise comes partly from self confidence; self confidence comes from quieting that nasty little voice inside your head that keeps criticizing everything you do. One of the best ways to quiet that voice and become more comfortable with who you are is to meditate.
Face your social fears. If you are uncomfortable in formal situations, a good way to solve that problem is to dress up and go to cultural activities. Join the art museum and attend the events. Go to networking events in your industry and join a professional public speaking organization, like Toastmasters, to learn how to speak in public.
Practice good posture. "Head up, chin level with floor, shoulders back, and tuck in your posterior." You have heard this before and it is good advice. The best way to improve your posture is to practice walking around with a book on your head, repeating the above mantra jto make sure that you don't slump.
Pay attention to your grooming. Do you get the feeling that people disapprove of you the moment they see you? If so, take a look in the mirror. Do you look like you stepped out of a television commercial or a wanted criminal poster? Clean hair, body, clothes and shoes all improve how you look and, most importantly, how you feel about yourself. Good grooming leads to a better experience when you interact with other people and that your self confidence so that you are more poised.
Work on your diction, grammar, and proper word usage using diction exercises and language development. Nothing you can do to improve your appearance will make up for an accent that is difficult to understand and a way of speaking that makes you appear uneducated or unintelligent. Record yourself during phone conversations. Do you hear "you know" and "like" and other filler words? These words diminish your poise so rid them from your speech.
Learn proper manners and protocol. Manners are like driving laws in that they help everyone know what to expect in nearly every situation. Knowing which fork to use at a restaurant is as comforting as knowing what to say when introducing people or writing a thank you note. Opening a door for someone, giving up your seat, and offering a compliment are all things that not only make a good impression, but also add to your poise by making you feel good about yourself.