I recently had the pleasure of facilitating a comprehensive 3-day program on Personal Branding, Professional Image, Business Etiquette and Communication Skills for the Fire Jasper Branch of Pru Life UK, a subsidiary of the British financial services giant Prudential PLC. Pru Life UK is the pioneer and present market leader of unit-linked or investment-linked life insurance products worldwide. It is also one of the first life insurance companies that gained approval to market US dollar-denominated unit-linked policies in the Philippines.
The goal for our training program was to increase the credibility and influence of the members of the Fire Jasper team, as well as to improve their executive presence and self confidence when dealing with clients, people from different industries, and their co-employees and subordinates. As a Certified International Image Consultant, I truly look forward to sessions like these, which touch on several essential factors that contribute to a person’s professional presence and professional image. The group was small, and ideal for a more intimate, hands-on learning session.
Some of the things that I hoped to teach the Fire Jasper team over the 3 days were:
- How to dress appropriately for their position
- How to adapt a communication style that is clear and succinct
- The importance of personal image enhancement as a component of the corporate brand
- The profound impact of first impressions and superficial judgments
- Distinguishing the levels of business dressing and how to dress for every business occasion
- The value of positive comments from colleagues in the office, and noticing one’s wardrobe and grooming refinement, executive presence and confidence
- And how to be perceived as a role-model for other colleagues and employees at work, whether you are in a leadership position or as a member of the team
The first session took place on May 18, 2018. On this day, my team and I headed to the Dasig Residence in BF Paranaque to meet the 8-person team from Pru Life for the first time. We were welcomed by the Dasig siblings, Dani, Gabi and Ica, their mother, Aggie, and team members Ella, Jo and Monette. The set up was warm and homey, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that we had other special guests in attendance, the three dogs of the house!
Our session kicked off with mind setting. Here, the participants brainstormed in smaller groups to identify the aspects of branding that they felt their company could improve on. After each group had presented their outputs, we moved on to a series of pair exercises. Partners exchanged comments and observations on one another’s personal appearance, and practiced giving each other compliments. These activities were essential in building the participants’ understanding of personal branding and self-appreciation. To end the first day, we had a question and answer session that addressed everyone’s queries. The team was then sent home with an assignment, to ask 15 strangers to describe their first impressions of them.
Day two with the Fire Jasper team was a half day session on power dressing and communication. Again, our 3 furry friends Cinna, Coby, and Bailey were present during the session. Body language, soft skills and nonverbal communication both came into play in the activities we had prepared for the day. In one activity, the attendees had to role play with their best facial expressions while saying, “I’m so excited!” and “I have good news!” Each one was also asked to share the results of their assignments on first impressions. Through the results, they were able to evaluate if the image and message they want to present is parallel to what people see and interpret. This provided a great starting point for building and honing each one’s powerful presence.
When it was time to discuss power dressing, I first evaluated the skin tone of each participant to determine whether it was warm or cool. We then had a color draping activity to teach them how to identify the color palette that suits their skin color and tone. Afterwards, participants were paired up again to take their body measurements in order to determine their most flattering clothing style and dressing techniques, and what would make them look more authoritative. After sharing multiple tips and answering questions, I shifted to inspirational speaker or motivational speaker mode, ending the day with my personal testimony – The deeper reason behind my “why”. After a mini photo shoot, we concluded the day’s session.
My last day with the Pru Life group was on June 1, our graduation day. Once again, we met up at the Dasig Residence. As the team entered the room, I noticed an improved executive presence brought about by their upgraded corporate attire and new hairstyles. As an image strategist, I couldn’t have been prouder of each participant’s progress.
Social etiquette and business etiquette were the topics for the day. We began by breaking the team up into smaller groups, where they shared their ideas on workplace, email and text messaging etiquette, as well as dining etiquette. They presented their outputs to the class, and we moved on to a role playing activity on how to properly introduce yourself in a business setting. For a hands-on activity in dining etiquette, our lunch table was set up for formal dining. Our meal, which featured an entree made by the youngest Dasig daughter, Belle, was transformed into an experiential learning session. After the hearty lunch, certificates were presented to every participant, and photos were taken. As a final activity, I asked the participants to draw an object that could best represent them, and share this with the group.
I know that I am able to be the best female motivational speaker and professional speaker I can be when I hear and read positive feedback after my session. Some wonderful words of praise I received after my days with the Pru Life team were:
I commit to doing everything that I’ve learned in this workshop, slowly change my wardrobe and change my total outlook about myself. – Ella Catipay
Through this seminar, I love that I am able to see the things that I did not see before. While I thought I was doing well as a speaker, I was made aware that I could speak even better by changing my tone, my energy, and my expression. – Aggie Dasig
What I loved about the session is I’ve learned about my body shape, I knew what clothes will suit me and the color. I also learned how to speak in front of other people with confidence. – Jocelyn Florido
If you, too, would like to supplement your sales training with a Power and Style workshop that tackles Personal Branding, Professional Image, Business Etiquette, and Communication and Presentation Skills, feel free to send me a message or learn more about the services we offer at https://radianceimageconsultancy.com.