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Paradox1's avatar

What are some ways one can change their image and physical presentation skills?

Asked by Paradox1 (1177points) September 22nd, 2011

Couldn’t find any questions asked on this already..

I have always tended to “be myself” around my friends and in general, though sometimes I am more guarded than others. While I enjoy “being myself,” I also want to appear and interact in a certain way, by wanting to be more like the people I admire and the way they interact with others. It’s hard to explain, but I have an idea of how I want people to perceive me – successful, upright, together, etc. I don’t want to act like someone other than myself, but rather present myself to others in a different manner.

I am wondering if you might recommend any great books, articles, magazines, blogs, insights, or thoughts on public image, social interaction, presentation skills, etc. and how I might study and practice to change the lens which others view me. Thanks!

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14 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t have a book to suggest, but I would say becoming a keen observer might help. Try to pinpoint what you admire or are drawn to in the people you want to emulate. Maybe start with their clothes, posture, facial expression, tone on their voice. I would say exuding confidence is the biggest thing. Standing tall, speaking clearly, looking people in the eye, wearing clothes that are new or still appear new, being kind to other in the room, including them.

ashley2011's avatar

Be your self. I think you need more confident on your self.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

For a formal training Dale Carnegie classes and informal The Toastmasters International clubs.
Both will improve “image” and presentation skills.

marinelife's avatar

How to Win Friends and Influence People

I am concerned that you think that your natural self is not OK. That’s a bad starting point.

zenvelo's avatar

I suggest that you consider physical fitness and body awareness through exercise and yoga. That can give you a better presence within yourself and how you look to others. Posture and presence communicate confidence.

Paradox1's avatar

I am physically fit, lean, and 6’0… some might consider that tall, and I try to stand and sit upright.

I am confident in myself and around others, and I enjoy being myself.

@marinelife I think my “natural” self is great, there is no one I’d rather be. But I also think that image and interaction are skills that can be developed to make maximal impact on those I relate to and touch. I am trying to get to the next level…

You might be able to think of it this way. A diamond is a diamond no matter what. It is how that diamond is cut that gives it its shape and beauty, since diamonds coming straight out of the ground are raw and uncut. I am a diamond trying to perfect the cut, in order to extract maximum potential from the raw resources…

wundayatta's avatar

You want to interact in a “certain” way. You want to present yourself to others in a “different” way. You want to be perceived as successful, upright and together.

I’m sorry, but these are vague things. Are there any problems with how you are currently perceived that you know of? Do people tell you you seem a bit scattered, shiftless and unimpressive? Why do you think you are not perceived the way you want to be perceived?

If you want to change your image and you have something specific you want to do, then go to an image consultant. Otherwise, look around at the people you think exemplify who you want to be and copy them.

Generally there are standard things. Look people in the eye. Firm handshake. Speak clearly and confidently. Be nice and pleasant. Know what you’re talking about. Organize it clearly. Speak in an engaging way. Make sure people understand you. Be kind to all. Be helpful.

These things take practice, especially being organized and clear in your presentation. You also have to know a lot about what you’re talking about.

dreamwolf's avatar

Look, check this out. You are yourself, and what you want to do is emulate someone else. Maybe you want to disband from your friends and start over. This isn’t wrong, but it isn’t right as well. Just do what you want to do, your work will speak for itself, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone from your facade. But if you all of a sudden fall in love with nature, and want to emulate what things you’re attracted to, maybe you want to grow your hair long and grow a beard and wear boots or whatever, that is fine. But do it for yourself, and not anyone else. You carry your reputation to your grave, if you are just trying to get the attention of others based on what you think, they think is good, then no this is a bad idea for you. But if you want to feel perhaps the city life more, and you dress in slacks all of a sudden, that is okay. Do it for yourself, and God no one else can judge you, you know who you are.

Paradox1's avatar

@dreamwolf thank you, although you didn’t really answer the question I found what you had to say insightful for other reasons, (as usual).

@wundayatta “Look at people you want to be like and copy them” Okay… I am asking how. I do all the “standard” things most of the time and have not had any problems. The things I mentioned are vague specifically because they are mannerisms that cannot readily be explained, hence hard to explain.

I feel as though almost no one here has understood my question, and that is my mistake. Perdon. Perhaps I will research this topic extensively for the next two years and write a book on it myself…

dreamwolf's avatar

@Paradox1 Oh, sorry, hah, well what I meant from all that is, to answer your question, they can disband from certains friends who tend to hold others back (like that feeling of obligation looming around). Check out some good magazines. Like Nylon for Men (you just missed the Borders shut down sale for all these magazines i’m about to name), GQ, check out “bands” fashions, I like how Vampire Weekend, dresses, all preppy, and finely social. Or The Walkmen, or The Morning Benders.

wundayatta's avatar

The problem, @Paradox1, is that I don’t know what you think standard things are. I don’t know who you want to be like.

Are you asking how to copy? You copy by watching someone as closely as you can. Then you practice doing what they do. You can watch videos of the person or observe them in person. Then you try to act like them, watching yourself in the mirror until you have perfected the way of being you want to incorporate in your life.

I can’t tell you any more because I don’t know who you admire and who you want to be. However, a first step to getting to where you want to go would be to describe, as accurately as you can, what this person looks like and how they behave. You have to do that anyway if you want to act like them, so do it as an exercise to help us understand who you want to be.

JLeslie's avatar

@Paradox1 If you spend time with the very people you want to emulate it will likely happen. It is natural for people to mimic those in their group, even unconsciously.

Do you feel you miss social cues, and simply have been disinterested in fashion previously, so these things sort of go over your head?

Paradox1's avatar

I guess what I am asking is more about communication… but with that goes with layered presentation and image skills – essentially all that communication is anyway, a fact that I had overlooked. I have found this book: to be the most helpful thing I have found in that direction. For example:

How to Make Someone You Just Met Feel Like an Old Friend at Once
How to Know What to Say After You Say “Hi”
How to Talk Like a VIP
How to Be an Insider in Any Crowd
How to Be a Leader in A Crowd, Not a Follower

I would like to approach the greatness of those magnanimous spirits who are leaders of industry, who make their own conditions, who captivate their listeners, who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully. I don’t think these characteristics in any way would detract from “being myself.” I think this book is a step in the right direction, and I hope I have helped to clarify a bit more. If you have any other suggestions I would love to hear them. Thank you for bearing with me on this journey :)

Bretbocook's avatar

Read the laws of success by Napolean Hil, can be found on

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