On The Importance of First Impressions

The Unspoken Truth | First Impressions

A couple of weeks back I had the chance to attend Advertising Week Europe (AWE). AWE  brings together some big brands in advertising and focuses on how they shape and influence the global industry. I had to go because my boss was on one of the panels, which you can actually watch here. They spoke about the ‘real’ impact of personal advertising and adblocking. It was actually pretty interesting.

I managed to nab a press pass and after my boss’ panel, he let me explore the other panels that were taking place. As the event took place over 3 days, there were actually quite a few events happening. At the time, there was nothing that really spoke out to me – until I saw Gok Wan was going to be on one of the panels.

Gok Wan is a famous fashion consultant, best known for his TV show ‘How to Look Good Naked’, which I used to watch religiously. He’s actually amazing and so inspirational. The way he made women become more confident in themselves and their body was such a joy to watch. So, when I saw he was going to be there I thought, “Yes. I definitely need to be there” without really seeing what the talk was going to be about.

The coolest thing was that because I had a press pass, I was able to bypass the queue (which was already snaking out of the building) and get to the front. I was able to get a seat three rows from the front, so I had an excellent view of the panel. Gok Wan looked fabulous, as usual. The other three members of the panel were:

  • Judi James – body language expert
  • Oliver James – clinical psychologist
  • Kathleen Saxon – founder of The Lighthouse Company
First Impressions

In an effort to look “cute”, many women newsreaders stand like this. Judi James noted, however, that they look rather timid instead.

The whole talk consisted of the members talking about people’s first impressions on others and how others perceive you through body language. They talked about how politicians stand and gesture in a certain way, so that they make you feel like you can trust them.

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They also talked about what clothes you can wear to interviews and other events that will help you look and feel more confident.

Oliver James actually quoted T.S. Eliot whilst he was talking and said, “[We] prepare a face to meet the faces that [we] meet”. This is true because we all metaphorically wear masks that make us socially acceptable at the expense of our personal identities, and we “prepare” different masks for different people.

Whilst we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, I still think it’s important to make a good impression by how you look. You’re more likely to hire someone who’s made an effort in what they wear than someone who turns up in an un-ironed shirt, scruffy jeans and a hole in their trainers.

I am not a fashion conscious person, at all. That being said, I am aware that I like to look good when I go out. (unless it’s just to pop to the corner shop. In that case, I will gladly wear my bright yellow bear onesie.)

I’ve noticed a slight change in my morning dress routine ever since going to that panel. Despite having no-one to impress at work, I realised that it doesn’t matter. It’s nice to just dress for yourself, and it definitely makes you feel good. I’ve started wearing pieces in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn in ages, including skirts and blouses.

I’m glad I went to that panel because I came away with a lot of tips, and the panel was pretty fun!

You can watch the whole talk here. Check out the presentation around 3 minutes in – it’s my fave.


  1. May 15, 2014 / 5:17 am

    I have really been into fashion since college in particular. My style has changed so much over the past few years. I’m still trying to pinpoint what my style is. It’s interesting. I’m so in love with dresses these days too—any tangent about my life. Lmao.

    Sounds like an excellent and informative panel! Glad you had a great time.

  2. May 16, 2014 / 3:02 pm

    I love Aunty Gok! He’s very inspirational indeed! I prefer his roadshow program as it teaches you how to dress well and what outfits suit your body shape 🙂

    When I have time I’ll check out the talks 😀

    Thanks for sharing!

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