The individual professional image

A person who has an important professional position must know how to combine style, communication, influence, distinctive attitude and power to create a positive and memorable impression. Impact in different working situations, show competence in the best possible way.

Image, personal style and presentation are strategic and intangible soft skills that indicate intelligence, competence and confidence, and affect how you are perceived.

Many capable men and women are disqualified from job opportunities simply because they don’t look the part, they don’t have an image that reflects their competencies, and suitable for the professional position which they are aspiring.

An appropriate image and a polished appearance convey the message that you are an organised, reliable, trustworthy and competent person and that you have an edge on others.

Ultimate business success depends on you being aware of how you appear and mastering all the areas of total image.

The companys image

Many companies invest huge amounts of money on the image development and promotion of their services and products. The successful and accomplished firms go beyond, they also invest in the image of one of their most valuable asset: their employees, who are indeed front line ambassadors of the company.

Have you ever wondered if the employees’ image reflects your company’s image appropriately?

Are your employees aware of projecting the company’s image? Their appearance affects significantly your corporate brand identity and your clients perception, the community, the international marketplace and potential employees.

Whether it is a big firm or a small business, the corporate image goes beyond the logo, the website or the industry position. The way in which your employees appear influences not only the perception of their individual competence and their professionalism and creativity, but also and above all it conditions the perception of your company too.
RFCI proposes seminars and workshops that help to define the identity of small, medium and big enterprises according to specific needs and the established dress code.

RFCI offers an in-depth assessment of the current company’s image; establishes if it is compliant with the brand; guides you in the identification and solution of eventual inconsistencies; creates a uniform and coherent image, which represents your brand, your products and your clients appropriately.

The RFCI educational and motivational programmes are based on proven studies and techniques and they teach participants to express themselves using their professional image as a useful communicative instrument, to appear competent, trustworthy or even informal depending on the working context; to develop strategically, but authentically your personal brand.

The seminars and workshops can have a variable length, from 2 hours to 5 days. You can choose from an array of topics, those that deal with the most important issues regarding the image for your company and your employees.

The image topic is very fascinating, and it can be a welcome break during a course or a focused conference or training. The RFCI programmes can be held either on the company premises or a suitable venue for everyone, during the week or in the evening.  Companies achieve the best value by integrating personal development programmes with the RFCI Workshops or coaching programmes.

They are highly visual presentations that require the audience participation. Slides and other audiovisual material supplements the content. Your company's employees will leave with a complete guide that will enable them to acquire, maintain and present, a personal and compliant professional style, coherent with your company's guidelines.

  • On-Site Seminars
  • BreakoutSession Programs
  • Pre-or Post-Convention Seminars
  • Conferences, Conventions,Retreats: Keynote Speaking
  • Private Individual Consultations During Events
  • Professional Associations and Annual Meetings
  • One-on-One Assessment and Training: Company On-Site, at Conventions,executive office locations
It takes only a quick look, maybe three seconds for someone to evaluate you when you meet for the first time. Within this short period, the other person creates an opinion about you based on your body language, on your demeanour, your mannerisms and how you are dressed.
The first impression depends mostly on your appearance and it is almost impossible to reverse or forget.
It generates an image of the person in our minds that persists and affects the following relationship.

A mental picture - a scan from head to toe that develops instantly and that never vanishes completely. Frequently, that snapshot is truthful and captures important and real elements. Within seconds, we draw unconscious conclusions regarding someone who we met for the first time. The information is gathered in a flash by all of our senses.

Imagine the moment you meet someone for the first time: during presentations, your eyes receive a myriad of visual clues related to their appearance, there is the physical contact with a handshake, and you even perceive their "scent". Even before having pronounced your name, you have already developed some solid opinions.

30 seconds. All the time you have to make a good impression. Studies show that it can take even 21 repeated occasions to have a person alter their opinion after a first disappointing impression.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression", make the most of it!

  • Your Best Impression Begins with the First Impression
  • How to present a powerful and lasting first impression
  • The impact and power of first impressions
  • Make Your First Impression Your Best Impression
  • First Impressions Are Lasting
  • Influencing the perception other people have of you.
  • Decision we make on the first impression
  • Positive and lasting first impression. Capitalise on existing strengths, best features, qualities
In a professional working environment, it is essential to dress appropriately and have the right look.
Your appearance is not only confined by aesthetics. It is also the nonverbal communication, the subliminal communication. The way you present yourself speaks about you, your personal competencies and those of your company.

To be competitive, it is necessary that your employees sustain a consistent visual impression coherent and compliant to your industry. Being up to date with new trends and professional dress standards, allows your company to gain respectability. If your business is so updated on the image, it will also be as much regarding professional industry competencies.

If you wear an eccentric and unusual item of clothing, if your scarf or tie flutters in the wind, if the earrings swing and dangle making noise, or your necklace or tie clip clicks on the microphone, the audience will be distracted and will not focus on your speech. If your clothes steals the attention as your gestures, your speech will be overshadowed and will lose effectiveness. The right look conveys confidence, reliability and professionalism to your colleagues, management, and potential clients.

RFCI shows you how through the choice of the right professional attire you can establish the appropriate company image respecting individual style preferences. RFCI helps you to create a successful image offering the most complete and up to date information about business attire.

  • Comprehensive material about different styles, fabrics, and patterns for suits
  • The type of shirt and collar style
  • Which ties are best suited for your professional attire and your company
  • How to combine colours and patterns for your wardrobe
  • Focus on Fit
  • Colourand Style to look authoritative, competent, credible, approachable in different business settings
  • Discover the psychological effect of color and use it to your advantage
  • Identifying Appropriate attire for different formal and casual work environments
  • How to dress when moving in corporate circles - covering meetings, presentations, interviewing, events
  • Accessories or finishing touches to complement or detract from your appearance
  • How your choice of accessories can make or break the final impact
  • The major do's and don'ts of business dress
  • The six occasions that call for wearing a jacket
  • Checklist for daily preparation, guidelines for finishing touches
  • How to maintain a professional business image
  • How to build and develop a flexible, yet appropriate professional wardrobe
  • Budgeting for a ’business-ready’ wardrobe
  • To become familiar with dress codes and their meaning
  • Dress for the Position You Want, Not the One You Have
  • Convey the right visual image to gain listener confidence
  • Your fashion personality, and communication personality
  • Looking like you can do ‘what it says on the tin’
  • Clothing symbols and perceptions
  • Increase pride and confidence through the appearance
  • Sure win techniques to align your strengths with your visual message
  • How to project and package your distinctive attributes to stand out in business
  • How to create a signature Image that closes deals
  • How to look like you mean it!
  • Projecting your personality through your image
  • Attitude is worn
  • How to make an impact through image communication
  • Energising Your Look
  • Understanding your corporate culture 
  • Reflecting the best of your company’s traditions trough image
  • How to implement corporate identity into professional style
  • Representing your company in the way your company wishes you to do
  • True corporate class and individual style preferences
  • Perfect your understanding of industry appropriate business attire. Define yourpersonal style
  • Stand above the crowd and fit in at the same time
Frequently employees don't dress appropriately for the work environment."Casual Friday" becomes "Casual every day". Although the business casual has been very successful in the last ten years, studies show that business casual may compromise business success as it lowers the efficiency and it leads employees to behaving less seriously towards their job and workplace.

In today’s less formal business environment, casual style is admitted as a professional attire. But what does "casual style” really mean? When is casual too casual? How does casual style affect the professionalism?

RFCI offers guidelines that allow understanding how, by establishing the business casual practice in the company, your employees may be less formal without compromising their professionalism and credibility.
The Business Casual programme is highly interactive. Effective visual supports are used to help you to apply the business casual style guidelines on your own wardrobe. You will learn the principles of the business casual, the "4 levels of dress code" and the strategic continuum of professional attire guidelines.

From casual daily wear to traditional boardroom attire, you will learn to identify the appropriate style for different professional occasions or specific audience. You will discover how to dress casually to appear competent, credible and reliable while feeling at ease and maintaining your individuality and integrity.

The programme offers a clear understanding of the Business Casual policy of your company. With specific guidelines to observe, it can be a valuable practice in your company.

  • Appropriate business casual dress, maintaining a professional image on casual days
  • Identify appropriate dress for every professional situation and audience
  • Dressing for each occasion:desired perception – interactions – industry – region
  • The three levels of business casual: classic - smart - relaxed
  • Levels accepted in the organisation
  • Strategic continuum of workplace attire guidelines
  • Appropriate dress for any occasion:from dressy to casual
  • Understanding ofthe business casual policy
  • Casual Fridays (if applicable)
  • Manager's role in implementing the policy
  • Exemplifying – impact of manager’s appearance in the organisation
  • Proper fit and grooming
  • Definite "no no's" on casual dress and grooming for your organisation
  • Coaching – tool and techniques – available resources
  • Compliance – organisation’s enforcement guidelines
  • Business casual dress guidelines for less formal business settings
  • How to casually yet professionally dress while maintaining your comfort, individuality, integrity
  • The True Meaning of Business Casual
Taking care of your appearance and your personal hygiene is essential in the management of your image. Employers often demand minimum grooming requirements to their employees and to observe a company dress code.

All employees must understand and respect the requirement for proper hygiene and grooming standards. Therefore it is necessary to guide and assist them in understanding the positive effects of good personal grooming habits and the negative impact of lacking personal grooming habits.

  • Grooming – General grooming top-to-toe, hair, nails, skin care, breath
  • Hygiene – Hygiene standards to be observed in professional & social situations
  • Do’s & Don’ts for grooming and hygiene habits
  • Polishing self-presentation skills
  • Dealing with perspiration: keeping cool and dry
  • Hair colour, Nail Art, Piercings, Tattoos: What’s appropriate and what’s not
  • Tips on technique & hands-on practice in: Hair care and styling
  • Basic skin care routine
  • Make-up application
“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” Mark Twain.

The ultimate leader can manage brilliantly himself, his superiors and his subordinates. The great manager who aims to become a leader must never forget that people that are valued have presence, good appearance, charisma, charm, and most of all they look confident.
Leadership is authority, image, communication, charisma, attitude, and prestige.
All these aspects together arouse a striking look in the professional context.

The same amount of time that you devote to enhancing your public speaking skills, to updates, to technical know-how regarding the professional sector, you must devote bolstering your appearance as well. Neglecting your looks and your image can derail your career. The image you project must reflect your position, your competencies and your professional ambitions. You are a leader at the centre of attention.
It is necessary to have a signature style, that makes you subtly stand out and fit in at the same time.

In this world dominated by visual perception, we are all influenced by what we see so our aspect must reflect what’s on the inside, our abilities and our values. A successful leader always has presence and that indefinable X factor, emanates a firm authority or an undeniable power. The posture, the body language in the same way as the image, contribute to confer an impactful appearance and presence. The leader loves to be at the centre of attention and is at ease by doing so. The leader is aware of the subliminal messages of the non-verbal communication, of the body language and image, and uses these means effectively. The leader dresses with the awareness that the image reflects personality, profession and business.
"What you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our body “speaks” through simultaneous gestures and expresses the true feelings. By interpreting a mere gesture, you could receive a partial or wrong message. If you become skilled at reading the body language and "speaking" it fluently, you can use it to your advantage.

You can use body language skills to project a more confident, powerful presence, persuade, influence, put people at ease, create a sense of trust in business negotiations. Otherwise, merely through a clear understanding of your body language and without changing it, you can learn how to manage it.

In each public speech or presentation, the body language reinforces your message. It supports what your words are saying, harmonises with the message that you are communicating and doesn't distract or divert the attention from it. If the body language and the message you are communicating are denying each other, your presentation will be entirely ineffective.

Learn to become aware of your gestures, facial expressions, posture and walk, to know how you move your hands while you talk or while you listen to others. Body language, image and message must all be consistent together to communicate effectively and to create the impact you have chosen.

  • Learn How body language adds power to the message
  • Learn to become aware of your gestures, facial expression
  • Presence, Poise and Positioning
  • Executive Communications
  • Rapport Through Effective Non-Verbal Communication
  • Sure win techniques to align your strengths with your visual message
  • Learn how to read what others are thinking
  • Learn how to read positive and negative body language
  • Learn steps on how to improve your body language skills
  • Learn how to influence other people's body language to your advantage
  • Understand and master the art of positive body language
  • Assets andliabilities; eye contact, facial expressions, handshakes, develop positive gestures
  • The Power of Your Physical Presence (non-verbal communication)
  • Understand your audience and get the information you need
  • Learn to move with ease and confidence. Walking, sitting and entering a room
  • Stand above the crowd and fit in at the same time
In today’s corporate environment business affairs take place increasingly outside of the office premises, and trade negotiations, hiring decisions and promotions, often occur during a lunchtime or dinnertime meeting, power lunches, leisurely dinners and cocktail parties.

A company cannot afford to place a multimillion contract in the hands of someone who could spoil a major deal because of social blunders.The table manners can dictate the deal outcome, they can make or break a deal.

Are you afraid that your employees do not know the etiquette rules to follow? Have you ever been unsure of which fork to pick at a formal business dinner? By perfecting the dining etiquette, you will be able to focus your attention on your clients and negotiations instead of worrying about which fork to pick. Having good manners is as important as any other technical skill. If you learn and apply the dining etiquette rules you have the edge over others, along with other remarkable skills, and can distinguish yourself from someone as much qualified.

Whether you are the host or the guest, if you know how to behave with style during lunch or dinner meetings while adopting impeccable table manners, you can create an impressive professional aura. With your dining style, you can make a good impression or make a wrong impression while making feel uncomfortable both you and the other guests.

The RFCI programmes on table manners will provide you with the necessary instruments to dine with confidence and ease at any lunch or dinner meeting. They combine a theoretical part and a part devoted to exercises and practical application of the concepts. They include a tutorial meal, luncheon or dinner, to enhance the educational experience. The programmes are audio, visual and tactile using all the means of interaction for maximum learning.

  • Invitation Protocol
  • Host and guest duties
  • Selecting the appropriate restaurant
  • The top 5dining etiquette mistakes
  • Seating arrangements
  • Five types of business meals
  • Napkin Etiquette
  • Place Settings
  • Toasting - You Are in the Spotlight
  • Posture and Poise at the Table
  • Appropriate Small Talk/Table Talk
  • Excusing Yourself from the Table
  • Silverware Knowledge
  • Ordering & Eating Difficult Food
  • Wine Selection
  • Passing Food
  • Eating Styles (Italian, Continental, American, Asian)
  • Table Manners
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Serving Food
  • Eating bread, soup, salad, dessert
  • Talking Business & Ending the Meal
  • Paying the Bill/Handling the bill and gratuities
  • Tipping/Tipping Guidelines
  • Ending the Meal
With globalisation, the world has shrunk. Digital communication, video conferences allow reducing the distances. International business relations expose companies and employees to the challenges of interacting with clients and colleagues with unknown customs and traditions. Knowledge of international business protocol is no longer required solely for the diplomatic community but for any professional dealing with international business and trade.

Each country will have its etiquette rules, many of them unwritten. When two or more cultures meet, it easy to commit etiquette mistakes that could have negative consequences on the business relationship. The etiquette allows you to show deference towards other people and to respect specific rules of interaction so that communication and negotiations proceed seamlessly.

The RFCI program "International Business Etiquette" will teach you and your team how to manage, and conduct international relationships with confidence, to understand the European and overseas cultural differences in a work-related context; the suitable communication styles, gestures and body language; etiquette of business meetings, of entertainment, will help maintaining business relations in order to have intercultural teams.

Something that you cannot neglect is the knowledge of the gifts-giving customs, rules and protocols in different countries. In certain circumstances the exchange of gifts are mandatory, in some others, they may be perceived as an attempt to bribe, or the company rules forbid them. RFCI offers valid information concerning the gift-giving customs in different nations and information about etiquette rules of different cultures in relation to topics such as:

  • Professional Dress
  • Clothing
  • Body language
  • Non verbal Communication
  • Gift giving
  • Table manners
During a job interview, the professional experience, the image and nonverbal features will be evaluated: your handshake, eye contact, body language, posture, listening skills, clothing, grooming and accessories.

Even with a great CV and an extended list of references, the first positive opinions can be transformed into negative ones during an interview. Both employers and candidates have to take a major decision based on a mere chance of interaction, which happens during the interview and on the basis of limited information. Therefore, each detail is under judgment, is magnified and at that moment represents the person.

The candidate can choose among different companies. In fact, it is not infrequent that a company loses the most suitable candidate because of recruiter inadequate image. Whether you are the employer who has to recruit or the candidate applying for a position, your appearance and subliminal messages have a huge impact on the interview outcome and the impression that you give rise to.

Attending the interview with the most suitable dress code to the company style, makes it easier for the recruiter to imagine the candidate as an employee for that company. Your interview look has not to be too eye-catching, but sober and sophisticated that highlights and reflects your competencies, so that the focus is directed to you and your skills. RFCI also helps the recent graduates to understand the value of their image and of the nonverbal communication during an interview.

  • Basic rules of dress
  • Conservative dress
  • Casual or more creative style of dress
  • Personal Grooming
  • Your Entrance
  • Visual impression and body language
  • Negative messages/signals: lack of self-confidence, low self-image and lack of enthusiasm
  • Facial expressions, postures, energy levels and gestures
  • Factors that make or break a hiring decision
  • Message of trustworthiness, confidence and credibility trough appearance and body language
  • Color’s symbolic messages
  • Appropriate job interview attire according to the job position, company you have appliedto
  • Learn how to master positive body language to your job interview
  • Learn to read your interviewer body language
  • Learn how to maximise your effectiveness in the interview process