Laurel Herman (7 August 2013)

Laurel Herman is CEO of image consultancy Positive Presence, whose website describes it as ‘the intelligent image consultancy for intelligent people.’  Laurel spoke about the importance of image and presence. The talk was full of practical work on self-appraisal and the importance of developing impact, confidence and charisma. Laurel has worked with many professionals including accountancy firms such as Deloitte, KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers. She identified five components of presence: appearance, inter-personal interaction, gravitas, networking and relationships.

Much of the practical aspect of Laurel’s talk involved self-appraisal which focused on how approachable, articulate, authentic, confident and consistent we are when we present ourselves. The audience had to rate themselves and assess how others appraised them.  The aim of the exercise was to understand from the averaged scorings how to quantify information relating to presence, and how this can be a useful tool from the perspective of self-development.

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(based on an article by Edward Martin)