Archive | August, 2010

Virtually Attired: 7 Tips to Dress for Cyberspace Success

First impressions matter, virtually or in-person. “Your appearance, makeup, hair and clothes are as important as your smile. When you project an image of confidence, you are more likely to succeed in business and social relationships,” according New York image consultants.

Whether you’re seen or not, participating in a virtually event doesn’t mean that you have to forget about how you look.

Nowadays, with office-casual attire accepted in most corporate environments, and given that you can work from home in your PJs (if you feel like it), you might under-estimate the value of business attire in a virtual meeting or event environment. Lazing around in PJs or shorts and a tee-shirt with tousled hair makes you look and feel unprofessional. Even if you’re not on video during your virtual event, the way you look definitely affects the way you perform, speak and think!

Check out The CBS Interactive business network’s savvy video about dressing for business.

When you attend a virtual event where you’re seen by your colleagues, consider the following seven tips to make sure that you come across professionally and feel good doing it:

  1. Focus on the upper half of your body since head and shoulders are usually the most visible on a webcam.
  2. Make sure that the background around you is neat and tidy.
  3. Dress professionally. Your attire and grooming are important for you to feel and act more business-like.
  4. Make sure that your hair is clean and styled, teeth brushed and face washed and/or shaved. Women, if you normally wear make-up, apply it as usual, and use some powder to get rid of any of those shiny spots.
  5. Sit up straight. It shows that you’re interested and paying attention, plus, good posture helps keep your energy level up.
  6. Wear a plain shirt or top, or one that has a small insignificant design. Heavily patterned, brightly colored, or too detailed-oriented garments will distract your audience away from your message.
  7. Avoid gaudy jewelry like large earrings and chunky necklaces – another major distraction.

The Golden Rule is that “understated works best.” However, even though you’re concentrating more on the upper part of your body, don’t ignore the lower half.  If you dress the part, you’ll be the part, geared up for your virtual event success.

Susan Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, internationally recognized exhibit marketing expert working with companies to increase their profitability at trade shows. Author: “Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market,” “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Target Marketing,” “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies” and many other titles. For more great information on trade show marketing strategies that work, and for a complimentary copy of “Exhibiting Success,” visit http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com. Click to download the “Riches in Niches” app.

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Putting a Human Face on Virtual Trade Shows

There is little that charms us more than a warm smile, and a strong, friendly handshake when we greet someone. Even more so when that someone is a customer, supplier or prospect at a trade show where the show floor is overflowing with smiles and handshakes. But how many of them are truly sincere? To stand out from the crowd, yours must be the most authentic.

But what about virtual events that are remote, and therefore remove the human element? How can you replicate that genuine grin through cyberspace?

Begin by ensuring that your face appears in all aspects of your virtual world participation. People like to know what you look like when they start communicating with you virtually. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to look like George Clooney or Penelope Cruz to take a good headshot! What counts is the way you convey your honesty, integrity and warmth. In fact, people who are too good-looking in photographs can often be a put-off to people. Studies have shown that people naturally trust other individuals who look average, and you feel you can relate to them.

Many times people use headshots that were taken years ago and if you met them in person, you’d hardly recognize them.  Rather than have a friend use a digital camera to take a quick snapshot, invest in a professional headshot, a business portrait using a photographer that knows how to bring out the best in you and knows your image must inspire confidence, but not be over-bearing.
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Virtual Trade Shows: Are You on Board Yet?

During the last decade the virtual world has transformed how we do business. Trade shows, once believed to be a physical realm in which suppliers and customers could shake hands and meet face to face, are now entering the virtual world. This is no longer a trend, but rather, the way of the future.

The list of benefits begins with the much lower cost. No airfares, hotel room charges or entertainment budgets. The less air travel that is undertaken, the better for our environment. And perhaps most pivotal is the time saved for people like you and me; we don’t have to be away from our office and family for several days, just being online for a set period.
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