All about you

by Iain Hopkins11 Jun 2012

 Tips on creating presence

  • Sit on one hand if you gesture excessively
  • Avoid interruptions by counting to four before you reply
  • Stand or sit large to demonstrate you take up space
  • Use few qualifiers as they imply lack of confidence
  • Don’t clasp your hands behind your back because you will look deceptive
  • Practice a firm handshake
  • Stand straight and still
  • Learn about your body – what do you do when you are talking?

Tips for men at work

  • White shirts always work best. Unfortunately white never stays white for too long, so be vigilant. Only ever wear crisp, white cotton.
  • Red or blue based ties are boldest and strongest – in US-based companies this is considered ‘power dressing’.
  • The best pattern on a tie to create force is a bold stripe. Limit patterns and anything too ‘clever’. Other men are not good at reading subtle messages.
  • Cufflinks further personalise the brand – NEVER give too much away, but choose according to who you are meeting.
  • A pen choice says a lot about a man’s personal brand; think carefully about your selection.
  • Men use watches as shorthand for your personal brand; they will judge you based on what watch you wear.
  • Drinks – men look at other men’s choice of coffee, drink or alcoholic beverage to detect power (remember James Bond’s martini).

Tips for women at work

  • Wearing a suit assumes high status.
  • Always opt for Navy over black – it is more flattering and more military.
  • Femininity is strength.
  • Wear heels; height = status.
  • Nail polish should never be chipped.
  • Costume – if you work in Marketing, look like you do. If you work in Auditing, look trustworthy not boring.
  • Makeup – a grooming trick that men can NEVER use.
  • NEVER fiddle with your hair if you want to take on high status.
  • A serious bag, means a serious operator.
  • Think International: US executive style is incredibly conservative. Women are still tending to take on a short and sensible hair style, matched with pearls and earrings.
  • For meetings with key US based executives, caution is advised, with focus on conservative, styling with sharp tailoring and clever accessorising.


To enter for your chance to win a complete personal brand, send an email to and tell us why you would benefit from a brand overhaul. Submissions must be received by 5pm on 31 May 2012.  The winner will be judged by Emily Kucukalic from BNY and announced in the next issue of HC

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