Chapter 1 First Impressions

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CHAPTER 1 FIRST IMPRESSIONS“Best Impressions in Hospitality” By Angie Michael*

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OBJECTIVESAfter reading the chapter you should be able to: Understand the impact of first impressions in human interaction. List the basic clues that people use to judge us in the first seconds of meetings. State the importance of presenting a professional business image in the hospitality industry. Identify the impact that your dress and presentation have on your career and in the organization. Describe the critical role that employees play in attracting and keeping customers.*

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INTRODUCTIONLike it or not, most people judge us by what they see. In the first few seconds of meeting, they have assessed us and make a judgment—positive or negative—that is not easily changed. By the time we open our mouths to speak, our words will account for only a portion of a person's perception of us. The rest is based on our tone of voice and the way we look and move. *

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We look for clues such as clothing choices, grooming and demeanor to tell us about their trustworthiness, credibility, effectiveness. Cleanliness, attention to detail and more. These clues are also a shortcut to evaluating a business establishment. By observing the appearance and body language of the personnel, a customer judges—again, positively or negatively—whether or not he or she want to do business there.*

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Personal appearance, grooming, body language and the first words we say are tools we can use to influence the visual impact we make during our first moments with a new person. When we understand how much we influence other by our dress and appearance, we become much more careful in selecting what we were to face the world each day.*

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OUR “HIGH-TECH, LOW TOUCH” WORLDWe live in a society that has been called “high tech, low touch.” Most communications are done through electronics and machines. Face to face encounters are usually brief and their effectiveness depends on how well and accurately we get our message across. We simply CANNOT afford to wait for a second positive impression. *

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The hospitality industry is a “people business” and our encounters are brief. In the eyes of the customer, your personal appearance and the service you provide represents the image the client has of the company. How you dress and present yourself can affect your effectiveness, your profitability and , therefore, your career and the company’s success. *

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The staff’s appearances and behavior that will encourage repeat business. The pubic buys “perceived value.” Hotel employees look trustworthy, efficient and impeccable, most guest assume that the property is equally trustworthy, efficient and impeccable, too. For the customer, you are the company.*

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Attracting and keeping customers is a process that begins and ends with their employees. We must also factor in the impact that these choices have on the wearer as well. Pride in your appearance contributes to your sense of self-worth. Studies on the subject link clothing consciousness to higher self-esteem and job satisfaction.*

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Accentuating your It is in your best interest to put effort into a “positive visual image.” We know we look appropriate and we know how to conduct our-selves in any business situation, we feel comfortable and empowered and can concentrate on the business at hand to achieve our goals. *

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DRESSING FOR EXCELLENCEDress, especially business dress, is more than our public skin. It is language. Clothing defines and describes us to the world. That is the reason we wear uniforms: so we can be identified as members of the particular team dedicated to serving or client’s needs. *

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Our grooming and clothing define the messages that we send our daily about ourselves. Both our clothing choices and our body language speak eloquently about us, we can use these “tools” at our disposal to positively enhances our visual impact. *

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BEYOND APPEARANCE: WHAT YOU SAY AND WHAT YOU DOA positive first impression goes beyond how we look (appearance) and what we do (body language) to the way we communicate and serve others. We need to delight the customers and exceed their expectations. Some of the graciousness that was appropriate in social settings has been modified in the work place.*

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The new ways of communicating with each other through high-tech devices, have brought a new set of rules of business behavior and etiquette. Ignorance of a client’s particular culture is the surest way to unravel a carefully planned business relationship. Business today requires a new international awareness, and in hospitality the responsibility is even greater. *

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It is more than avoiding mistakes. It is knowing how to make the guest, the client, the employee and the coworker feel at home—to respect their values and cater to their customs to win their trust, loyalty and support. It behooves all of us, no matter what our present work station, to be sensitive to cultural differences.*

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WHAT NOT TO WEARhttp://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear*

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CHAPTER 1 REVIEW Write the questions then write your answer to the question. List 3 tools your can use to influence the visual impact that you make when meeting a new person. Explain the concept: “For the customer, you are the company.” Describe the impact that clothing, grooming and manners have on the wearer. What is the reason we wear uniforms? Explain the expression: “you can’t afford to wait for a second positive first impression.” *

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What Not To Wear You will look through the magazines and locate 1 pictures of a person dressed inappropriate for a job in the hospitality industry. You must mount the pictures on a construction paper. List all of the reasons why this way of dressing is inappropriate.*

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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