Last week I joined a web cast presented by an excellent HR consultant that I have worked with in the property sector – Alyson Pellowe ( @alysonpellowe) where consultant Ian Crocker talked about personal impact. This is a topic about on which I write, train and coach a fair amount so I was interested to hear others’ views.

What is personal impact?

After some definitions of personal impact – such as presence: “Personal appearance or bearing especially of a dignified nature” and “air, appearance, aspect, aura, being, demeanour, personality, poise, self assurance” – participants were asked to nominate their ideas for people in the media with great personal impact – Davina McColl, Barrack Obama, Richard Bramson, Margaret Thatcher and James Caan were all mentioned. There was also a bit of chat about presence of mind – and the need to be calm, have self command in a sudden difficulty, alertness and aplomb.

A model of personal impact

Ian then introduced his model which I thought addressed all of the important elements of impact – both in real life and on-line. I was glad to see that personal branding was addressed as well as the need for authenticity in aligning your behaviour with your values and being consistent.


Not surprisingly, a fair amount of time was devoted to how you look and there were some pointers on posture, personal grooming and appropriate dress.


There were some interesting points about your voice – and the need to project your voice with the right volume and tone was stressed. The need for clarity of speech by enunciating your words properly and ensuring that you were strong at the end of your sentences was stressed. There were also some helpful tips about the words you use. Those identified as being particularly impactful were: you, money, save, results, new, easy, proven, guaranteed, hassle-free, innovation, efficient and peace of mind.

Conveying warmth

There was an interesting piece on conveying warmth – by devoting your full attention to them, maintaining eye contact and making people feel important. These ideas are not new and I urge you to read Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” if you need a refresher. There was a great quote here: “people don’t care how much you know when they know how much you care”

Other models

One of the models that I often use addresses similar issues and uses a triangle to show how people achieve personal impact through a combination of their presence (physical appearance), authority (knowledge and expertise) and their impact (their ability to change things). And there are many FAQs and blogs which look at the importance of emotional intelligence, empathy and non verbal communication.

I have written extensively on some of the topics mentioned during the web cast, please see: