Improve Your Professional Image – Speak with Authority

Image is not just appearance; it is also communication. The way in which you communicate, both verbal and written, affects how you are perceived. There is a trend among young women to put a question mark at the end of each sentence – sometime each phrase. Instead of saying, “There is a trend among young women to put a question mark at the end of each sentence”, they say, “There is a trend? among young women? to put a question mark at the end of each sentence?”.

When every sentence ends with a question mark, the speaker sounds uncertain about what they are saying. That question mark begs for a response – a reassurance – from the listener.

The polite listener will nod and give an audible reassurance (like “right” or “okay”), while thinking, “I don’t know. You’re telling me”. A not-so-polite listener will tune you out while thinking, “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about”. They may even say, “I don’t know” after each question. In either case, your professional image has been compromised because of your inflection.

So? if you want to be perceived as professional? and you really do know what you’re talking about? resist the urge to add a question mark at the end of each phrase.
Speak with authority.

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About Bonnie Mahaffey

Bonnie believes that the business casual environment has made it very challenging for women to compete in the corporate arena. "Perception is everything and women, historically, are not perceived as seriously business-minded when they are dressed casually. The mission of Polished Professional Image is to help women choose the most effective business image based on their professional goals and work environments."
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