I’m reminiscing a little with this week’s blog. As I head toward another birthday this weekend I am reminded of a celebration I had two years ago. It was the trip of a lifetime travelling through France and Italy for 30 days. Spending a week in Paris was a long held dream and celebrating mutual birthdays with a long-time friend was a highlight. The places, people and memories I will cherish forever. I also did manage to do a bit of shopping, hoping to replicate some of the style and elegance that Parisians are noted for. Is it true that Parisians seem to have a self-assured elegance?
During my travels I visited Nice in the South of France and came across a street scene straight out of a movie. Security guards holding back a posse of paparazzi and fans while a high profile politician and his entourage entered a restaurant. It turned out to be former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni. I mentioned this encounter to one of the beach boys on the Plages who predicted that Sarkozy would once more be President. Seems so far this prediction is not quite accurate – however, according to the opinion polls Sarkozy is still considered a popular, influential political figure in France.
Apart from his political views and policy it seems Sarkozy has a lot more poise and presence than the current President. What is poise? According to various dictionaries it means calm, self-assured dignity, ease of manner and assurance, especially in dealing with social situations. Also, a graceful controlled way of standing, moving or performing in action. Going further into the Thesaurus these words and phrases come up also, mental poise, intelligence and wisdom. Poise is a very desirable personal brand attribute. Here are a few tips to help you include and exude this trait into your personal brand.
- Self-confidence. Displaying self-confidence and self-assurance is easier said than done. However, a leader or someone in control shows re-assurance to others. They take an interest, listen and make the first move to initiate conversation, putting other people at ease.
- Speak well with composure. Not all of us need or have the opportunity to make a public speech like an international leader however it is one skill that can elevate your personal brand presence. It is important to be well prepared and well-practiced. I’m certain Sarkozy has been practicing and learning the craft of public speaking for many years and so can you. Even if you just speak up in meetings or conference calls, being at ease in these situations is the sign of control and confidence. Having a powerful, persuasive voice helps. Again this trait can be developed through being aware of what your voice sounds like, eliminating the ums and ahhs, you knows and perhaps getting some voice coaching.
- Well mannered. A leader of Sarkozy’s calibre has impeccable manners. He mixes with the well-to-do, moneyed people of Europe. As a leader he will also deal with Kings and Queens and Heads of State and will do so with courtesy and stateliness. A Commander in Chief of a country or perhaps just You Inc. understands and displays correct business and social protocol.
- Carriage and demeanour. Sarkozy wears clothes well. Of course so does his wife former model Carla Bruni who graces the covers of many magazines. They both choose classic and elegant styles. Mr Sarkozy is more conservative and classic befitting his role while Mrs Sarkozy adds a modern edge to her dressing. They both show great posture walking proud (although Sarkozy is not tall) and with dignity. Yes they both have great figures, but no matter what your size or shape, dressing well is a skill that can be learned and should be practiced.
- Charisma. Perhaps this is an elusive quality. But I think charisma is about being a leader that people want to follow no matter what field of endeavour. It is standing out in a strong, present way with a sense of calmness and composure. What do you think?
In my free eBook The Power of Personal Public Relations I write more about image and your personal brand. Download your copy here.
Read last week’s blog How to Captivate Your Community