Anna Soo Wildermuth

Welcome to Personal Images, Inc.!

Here I'll give you up to date tips on developing your personal and professional image to ensure your first impression will be your best impression. Also I will blog about current image and communication blunders. Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments, and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Thanks for visiting my blog. – Anna

Change One Thing is a superb book that gives excellent advice to help jumpstart your engine." Stephen R. Covey, author, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

More Info

Archive: Uncategorized

Outerwear – First Impression

IFun-Fur-Credit-Sandra-Semburg-Vogue_fr_ recently noticed a professional woman wearing an oversized mock faux coat walking toward her car. I love faux fur coats when they look either real faux or real in-between. A faux fur looks best when styled to look that way. There are colors and fur types that shout: I am not real! Even so, they make a fashion statement. A faux fur that tries to look real without having a contemporary style appears cheap and matronly.

My late mother had a mink coat that she stopped wearing because it became too big and heavy. We brought her a faux fur in deep forest green in the traditional style. It looked sharp, fun and she loved it!


Holiday Parties- Part One

holidayHoliday parties can be landmines for careers sometimes even resulting in party situations being taken to senior leaders. On the other hand, holiday work gatherings can enhance your employment capital by giving others an opportunity to know you even if it is only to say hello and introduce yourself.

Definitely stay away from controversial subjects like politics, money and religion. Many relationships rupture because of differences in these areas.  Holiday parties can also be events where you can begin to mend some broken fences.

Television and stylish wardrobes

WP_000121Whether is it Scandal or The Good Wife, I love watching Kerry Washington and Christine Baranski, especially in how they take control of the situations they face on the programs.

I also notice that their clothing choices and especially Christine’s jewelry picks, paired with clothing selections, are impeccable. Wardrobe stylists on these shows spend hours with an abundance of resources at their fingertips to style their characters. We may not always be able to afford TV character choices of clothing or jewelry. However, watching these shows can provide ideas and suggestions on wardrobe and accessory stylings. It’s almost like having your own stylist!

How many drinks for a social event?

DrinkspgRecently, I was out with folks who like to have a cocktail and wine with their meals. Since for me, one glass of wine is more than enough for an evening, I usually order a club soda with a lime. I will order that glass of wine with my meal if everyone is having one.

It would be the same for a business event. For hosts, I recommend no more than two glasses of wine with one cocktail. Liquor can loosen one’s tongue which can lead to revealing things that would be better left unsaid.


Speaking Up on the Phone

phoneMost our interactions, including final business transactions, take place on the phone. Speaking clearly and succinctly is very critical for many reasons. Your tone of voice is important in showing confidence and asking the appropriate questions.

Most importantly, you need to be heard. A good way to practice is by partnering with a colleague so you can both practice a range of voices, tones and pronunciations. Your phone voice is just as important as your visual presence.


Makeup versus no makeup

red lipstick11127502Surveys have shown women who wear makeup are seen as more confident by the C-Suite. However, I am not advocating that women should wear foundation, blush, lipstick etc. What I am suggesting is that there are many alternatives besides lipstick. Many companies such as Burt’s Bees, Origins and Benefit provide color in their lip balms. A little blush on the cheeks and color on the lips will create a polished finish.

For those who have small shaped lips and would like to wear a lipstick but have experienced too much color on the lips, consult with a makeup professional to help you choose a color with a natural look.

Wearing the same color on their lips as their natural lip color has worked for many of my clients. It completes a finished look that is not garish.


Color creates impact

camera lenseIn a recent photo shoot with a client we wanted to add impact to his picture. He has a very nice face as well as an engaging smile. However, his skin tone and hair color appeared similar. In a picture, this looked washed out.

To add impact we chose a red background, a pinstripe blue shirt and blue jacket. The color combination gave the photo some color pop. It created a very smart, contemporary image showing that the right color combinations have impact and create value.



What do your nails say?

Should women get a manicure and does there have to be color on the nails? Can I wear a vamp color on my nails? Your nails should always be chip, cuticle and hangnail free. A good buff for men is appropriate. Color for women should be neutral. The visual story you want your hands and nails to display is a fresh, clean and neat look that says I am healthy and youthful.

Speak up to be heard

You can only be heard in a meeting if you speak up. Here are some ways to practice speaking up before you go to a meeting. They will also prepare you to talk if you are called upon when you least expect it (especially in a group setting).

• When you are alone, talk out loud. For example, read the road signs when you’re driving or do a monologue about what you see around you.

• Call your cell phone once a day and leave your opinion on a business situation.

• Be sure to have coffee or lunch once or twice a week with a colleague to stretch your speaking muscles. (This is also good networking).

• Before you go into a meeting warm up with voice exercises.

• Join a Toastmasters Club.

Doing good work and making a positive impact to an organizational success is only recognized if you are heard.


Does shouting work for you?

A New York Times (NYT) Sunday article featured Mario Batalli, chef, cookbook author, television personality talking about working in his kitchen. His philosophy and communication style as leader is that you do not have to shout to work with each other.

The culture in the kitchens of many restaurants is to yell to communicate. The high pressure, time sensitive, noisy environment lends itself to this.

On Tuesday, August 28, acclaimed chef, Charlie Trotter, was featured in the Chicago Tribune because his restaurant is closing on Friday. He discussed what he did to change the atmosphere and talked about chefs who became famous but may have paid a high price for that fame.

So, here we have two celebrated chefs, successful leaders in their own field and businesses, with two different styles. One style was forged twenty some years ago and the other is relatively current.

The questions to answer are what works best for you, does it benefit you and do you learn from it?