Let me set the stage, I was asked to present to a class of students at the School of Business: Information Technology, Commerce and Administration of Montreal. For this presentation I had an idea on how I could really get the message across. After discussing it with the teacher, here is what I did.
I entered the classroom in a poorly dressed manner (non professional) and introduced myself to the students as an Image Consultant and President of Image & Style International.
I explained to students that the role of an Image consultant is that of helping men and women to enhance their professional appearance and stand out from the pack. I continued by saying that I give advice and techniques on how to enhance your image as well as improve your communication and professional etiquette.
After 5 minutes or so, I made up an excuse in order to leave the classroom… Once out of the classroom, I quickly changed into my business attire for the event; now I looked the part, very professional. I returned to the classroom only to witness some very puzzled and astonished looks, on the faces of many of the students. I then asked them to write down their first impression of me when I first entered the classroom.
Below are the comments from the students about their first impressions of me, when i showed up dressed inappropriately, behaving unprofessionally, telling them that I was an image consultant, an expert who enhances people’s image. Their testimony was priceless! It was precisely what I set out to achieve, the whole purpose of this exercise. The students got the message!
The first impressions
These comments have been typed (reproduced, unedited) in the words of the students. (Original copies in hand) so as not to lose their authenticity.
I found that the person was not very serious for an entrepreneur. She was far too eccentric for me. The skirt was too short I thought. Her clothing and jewelry were too distracting.
I was not a good feeling because you did not look like someone serious or professional. And since you are working in an environment of image and style, I see that this is not the proper dress code to gives confidence to people wanting to improve their style.
I did not have the impression I was dealing with a professional of image and style by the way she was dressed. (Excessive jewelry, short skirt with high boots at -15 ° C).
The image of a dancer, not at all credible WOW!. You got to be kidding me! She makes money, it has a second job. I will not believe what it says, It is not her who will tell me to change my style, this is not serious.
Very, very, very shocked. Very crazy. Very extravagant. Most of all, scantilly dressed. Not very serious. She commanded quite a bit of attention.
Too extravagant. Really not professional (not even in fashion). A woman who has not lived her youth. Immature. It looked like she did not really know what to speak about. I could probably do the same thing as a profession. The accessories were not appropriate.Too much jewelry (it was too much noise).
I thought it was a joke. I was shocked and disappointed to have been present. I would have stayed at home had I known. She is simply in wrong job. I’m being polite.
Did not look professional. Had too much jewelry. Looked eccentric. Was not credible.
Spontaneous. Appealing. Naughty Secretary. “Perky,” someone who is afraid of breaking a nail.
Not dressed properly for work.
Needless to say, the impact I was hoping to make on the students was a success. I thank them for their honesty. AN IMAGE IS WORTH… A THOUSAND WORDS