Looking professional isn’t all about what you wear. Although this is an important aspect of looking professional, it’s majorly about how you present yourself while in the meeting. When are you arriving? What do you bring to the table? These are all things to consider when thinking about how to appear professional. To help you out for your next business meeting, we have 5 great tips below to help you brush up and look as professional as possible.
1. Dress for success
More and more, companies are opting for a more laid-back daily dress code. In fact, even Goldman Sachs, a Wall Street company, relaxed their rules on business attire in March. However, they caveated their update by warning employees, “casual dress is not appropriate every day and for every interaction and we trust you will consistently exercise good judgment in this regard".
As Goldman Sachs said, casual dress is not appropriate for every interaction. Important meetings, we believe, are an interaction worthy of sticking the status quo in terms of business attire.
For men and women, boardroom attire can often include wearing a shirt paired with a set of tailored trousers. Depending on the situation, men may choose not to wear ties and women may opt to wear a smart dress or skirt in the place of tailored trousers. But, regardless of what you wear, we advise you stick to neutral colours such as black, white and browns as well as wearing non-distracting accessories to ensure the room is focusing on your input and not your outfit!
2. Show up on time
American Author, Karen Joy Fowler, said, “Arriving late was a way of saying that your own time was more valuable than the time of the person who waited for you”.
It’s not always avoidable but, turning up late can cause unnecessary disruption to a meeting situation. A key way to look professional is to be respectful of others’ time and the importance of the situation.
Turning up early can not only make you look more professional to others, but it also gives you time to set yourself up for the meeting, exchange niceties with other attendees and generally relax before the meeting kicks off!
3. Check your profile
If you’re dialling into a conference meeting via an online calling software like Skype, consider what your profile picture says about you.
Although that image of you sipping a cold beer on the beach might bring back good memories for you, it may not be something that will show you in the best light professionally. Present yourself in your profile picture as you’d want to turn up to a meeting in real life.
4. Come prepared
Was there an agenda set for the meeting? Make sure you’ve read it. Is there a topic at hand that you might need to brush up on? Brush up on it.
If you want your input to be valuable to the meeting, you need to have substance behind your discussions. Nothing will make you look more professional than being clued in and well informed about the situation at hand!
5. Turn off your phone
Out of sight and out of mind is the best practise to stick to when it comes to your phone in a meeting. If you don’t need your phone during the meeting, try turning it off or putting it on silent mode. The frequent pinging of WhatsApp messages and phone calls can not only stop you from being fully present in a meeting, but it can disrupt the whole gathering, making you look less professional.
If you follow all of the above tips, we think you’ll be at the top of your game in your next meeting. If you would like to read more tips from Titanic Suites, don’t forget to like us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.