10 tips from Deborah Thomas-Nininger, who recently conducted the program Reputation Management – Building Your Professional Brand at an HSMAI Las Vegas Breakfast Series program at the Tropicana Las Vegas.
- Mix and Mingle Effortlessly: Practice and “stretch” yourself! Take advantage of all mingling opportunities whether in a meeting, cocktail party or networking moment. And don’t forget, you need several 30-second and 10-second intros to better enable you to self-introduce.
- Be Approachable: Start paying more attention to your non-verbal signals and the responses that you are receiving. Are you communicating that no one else matters at that moment as you give them your full attention? Take the time to read the non-verbal communication of others – they are telling you so much without saying a word if you’re observant!
- Effective Verbal Communication Is Admired By All: Become more aware of your verbal style and habits. Avoid unnecessary slang, lazy language and offensive clichés. Bump up your diplomacy, pay attention to your tone and your overall verbal “presence.”
- Good Manners Matter: Establish greeting rituals and be the first to make everyone feel welcomed. Listen to names, pronounce them correctly and….remember them! Everyone on your team, in your department responds to the simple act of acknowledgement. And don’t ignore your basic everyday etiquette including cubicle courtesies.
- Are you HIP: Be visible, current and contemporary with your internal corporate knowledge and demonstrate your commitment to staying a life-long learner in your area of expertise. Always bring your A game!
- Effective Presentation Skills Matter: Be known as the consummate meeting master, arriving and ending on time and keeping to the agenda while controlling all distractions. Practice makes perfect on those presentation skills whether planned or impromptu.
- Combine Business Acumen with Your Social Skills Seamlessly: Table manners do matter as well as all aspects of business entertainment – it’s about relationship building! Whether on the golf course, at a business dinner or attending a cocktail party – you’re on! So make the most of it!
- Technology Etiquette Is Not an Oxymoron: Your tools should impact situations positively and not be a source of interruption, distraction or avoidance. How are they helping with your reputation - or are they hurting? Revisit the use of voice mail, email and anything that goes “beep!” Is it complementary to your overall reputation?
- Gravitas…Assertiveness, Accountability, Composure and Reliability Reduce Stress: Are you a person of your word? Do you deliver in a timely manner? Are you a stress-reducer? Do you over promise and under deliver? Think “zero” when it comes to excuses!
- Do you look the part with your investment dressing and well-groomed appearance – consistently: And don’t forget that delightful "from behind" 40% statistic!
Thomas-Nininger is the founder of DTN Productions International, a company that provides professional development training on all areas of international and domestic protocol specializing in "Reputation Management" and communication strategies.