It’s All in the Presentation: Determining Personal Style

Written by Karen Asquith, director of training at G.M.Collin Skincare

Does personal presentation affect success? Skills should outweigh personal presentation when it comes to overall success right? Although it seems as though competency should have more value than personal presentation, unfortunately it does not. Personal presentation has an impact on everyone we meet. Their perception of our competence, personality, intelligence, and trustworthiness are all decided from that first glance. It is important to understand and accept the importance and impact of first impression, as it is totally dependent on personal presentation.

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Now, this article is not implying everyone should be a specific weight, look a certain way, never age, and more. Rather, the way an individual chooses to present themselves, the clothes they wear, their use of cosmetics or the absence thereof, all send a message as to who the individual may be.

 

Most can agree that first impressions can vary and can stir a range of emotions, positive or negative. Of course, no one would like to think that they are so shallow that they would form an opinion based on appearance; however, scientific studies have proven that everyone does it. Now, the question is, how long does it take to form a first impression? A series of experiments by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov revealed that all it takes is one-tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face and that longer exposures do not significantly alter those impressions (although they might boost confidence in those judgments). Their research is presented in their article “First Impressions,” in the July issue of Psychological Science.

 

REFLECTING SERVICE OFFERINGS THROUGH STYLE

It goes without saying that a genuine smile is always in vogue; however, the way an individual presents themselves is not only dependent on their own style, it also depends on the clientele they have, the offerings at their spa, and the reputation they want their business to have. If working to build an eyebrow bar, it would stand to reason that everyone in the spa should have exceptional eyebrows. If building a nail business with nail extensions and nail art, then this should also be reflected in all the staff. The personal presentation of the aesthetician in a one service-focused spa may differ from a full-service spa specializing in everything from hair to skin care treatments. An individual should not expect the aesthetician performing their facials to have long nail extensions, as they would be restricting and uncomfortable for the client when performing extractions or facial massage.

 

PERSONAL STYLE

When opening a business or applying for a position at an existing business, it makes sense to think about personal style. So often, aestheticians may try to fit into a spa that does not at all reflect their personal presentation style. Imagine day after day trying to be someone you are not – the stress it would cause only leads to unhappiness and burnout. There are so many styles of spas. Surely, there is one to suit everyone’s style. An aesthetician simply needs to be aware of who they are to pick the one that fits them best.

 

To assess where you would best fit, start by looking at your personal presentation style. For this, ask yourself some questions. One of the quickest ways to begin to scratch the surface is to picture yourself in a group of people you have never met. What is your style? Do you take the first step and introduce yourself one by one to as many people in the room as possible? Do you stay by yourself and wait for people to approach you? Do you meet one person and spend your time asking them questions to discover as much as possible about them? Do you find yourself scouring the room looking for the wallflowers to help them integrate with the group?

 

If you are the one that introduces yourself to everyone in the room, your personal presentation leans more towards bold and colorful. A social butterfly, you love to meet new people and have new experiences. You will flourish in a spa that has a more transient clientele that will hold your interest and allow you to add some spice to your personal presentation. You can exist in a uniform; however, you will need the freedom to add your style to it, spicing it up with a colorful scarf, stocking, headband, or so forth.

 

If you wait for people to approach you to introduce themselves, you would be very comfortable in a spa that has a regular clientele. You are happy to wear a uniform or wear monochromatic casual clothes as a uniform. You will be quite content in a spa that provides consistency and familiarity.

 

If you like to discover as much as possible about an individual, your personal presentation style is a mix. You can be happy in a spa with a transient clientele or a spa that has a more regular client base. Your personal presentation is just as adaptable. You can adapt to whatever the spa dictates. You like to learn new things and experience new things; therefore, this can be achieved by discovering all there is to know about each person you spend time with.

 

If you are the one that is searching the room for the wall flowers you love to help others and your personal presentation style is casual and welcoming. You are not the one that wants to upstage anyone or look so bold that some may be intimidated. You are comfortable to wear the same uniform daily with no additions. You can fit into a spa with both a transient and regular clientele; however, your preference is a spa that has a calm ambiance, one that is on the quiet side, as you do not do well in a rushed, boisterous environment.

 

The science of personalities is incredibly fascinating. For many, it takes a lifetime to understand themselves, let alone being able to understand others. Personal presentation preferences provide others with an instant (one-tenth of a second) impression to determine level of trust and if they wish to pursue any type of relationship. Personal presentation can either help to propel an individual to success or keep them struggling to achieve their goals. Knowing all of this, it certainly justifies the extra time spent on personal presentation to face the world.

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