Making the right impression is key to your success Tips from Cleopatra VII Queen of Egypt that will help:
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Making the right impression is key to your success Tips from Cleopatra VII Queen of Egypt that will help. Author’s program note. Whether you are hunting for a job or trying to make a deal with a prospect, these days of economic malaise and insistent doldrums will probably not go down in your personal history as the good old days… unless, that is, you heed the advice and admonitions you are about to read now… admonitions with the Royal Seal of Approval of one of history’s most well known and alluring figures… the lady commonly known (like certain rock stars that followed) by her first name and nothing else — Cleopatra. Why am I recommending her to you? Because she was expert at getting her way…. and such people are always useful to study.
To set the stage for the recommendations that follow, put yourself in the imperial mood by playing music from Joseph Mankiewicz’ celebrated (indeed infamous) film “Cleopatra” (1963) starring Rex Harrison, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. There were many reasons for its renown… it was the most expensive film ever made, the film that took the longest to make (3 years); two of its principals (Taylor and Burton) were involved (to every paparazzo’s delight) in an off-screen affaire that put their torrid on-screen affaire to shame… and the theme music (by Alex North) was superb… particularly the portion that accompanied the great Queen in her royal barge, beloved of Isis, on her celebrated voyage up the Nile to give Marc Anthony (Burton) the chance to make a fool of himself — and to get his army (and its captain-general) to fight for her, for Egypt, for glory. As you see, there was much at stake… and so the presentation had to be awesome.
Find this lush, evocative song now in any search engine… and as you listen to it (and listen to it again) read the magical words of Shakespeare, for this is most assuredly where Mankiewicz and North got their inspiration for this scene of High Hollywood grandeur, so expensive and demanding that it nearly bankrupt the studio. Thus, its like will never be attempted or seen again:
“The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, Burnt on the water. The poop was beaten gold, Purple the sails, and so perfumed that The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver, Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made The water which they beat fo follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggar’d all description: she did lie In her pavilion — cloth of gold, of tissue — O’er picturing that Venus where we see The fancy outwork nature.”
Anthony and Cleopatra, Act 2, scene 2, 191-201.
Now let’s focus on you and the last time you needed to make a good impression.
As I write the United States is stuck with a stubborn unemployment rate of about 9%; certain states, like Florida, are higher, nearly 1 3/4% higher. This is not good… especially if you don’t know how to present yourself so that you beat out your competitors, each of whom needs a job (or needs to make this crucial sale) as much as you do. So whether you’re in the market for a good job… or are in business to make one sale after another, this article is for you.
1) Review your last presentation — with nothing less than brutal frankness, candor and complete honesty.
You are not here to extol your virtues but to improve your ability and skills so that you get what you want. In this connection, I think of the Duchess of Windsor, a hostess of note. After every lunch or dinner party, she sat down at her desk and wrote a performance critique of her staff (and occasionally, too, of her husband, once King Edward VIII of the empire on which the sun never set) and advised them what she disliked and what needed improvement. She was efficient, organized, visionary and fastidious to a degree… and so, too, must you be. You are in an environment where it takes more to get a job… and make a sale… and so acute scrutiny is the order of the day.
2) Get yourself a mentor.
Who’s helping you get a job… make deals… and so make money? If the answer is no one then you have a difficult row to hoe indeed. So, let’s be clear on one thing. Working alone to find work is a sucker’s game… and I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t make this crystal clear.
You need a mentor working for you… a person who can walk you through every single task you need to accomplish… and then show you precisely what to do. This list of tasks includes (but is not limited to)
* writing persuasive cover letters that open doors, rather than slam them in your face;
* crafting resumes that sizzle and persuade because they show the reader what you have done, not just where you have been;
* showing you how to get crucial information about the place(s) you’ll be visiting for interviews… and so crafting your approach that you’ll stand out from the crowd and make you the obvious choice.
Now think for a minute. For your last presentation (which is a word I prefer to “interview”) were you well and truly prepared… or did you just show up and embarrass yourself with complete bumbling and ineptitude? Your honesty here is mandatory… or you will never get the job (or the sale) you want.
Thus a mentor is crucial. The problem is knowing where to find one.
If you’re associated with an educational institution, use their guidance counseling facilities.
If you’re on your own, ask your most educated and successful friend to assist… particularly if they’re in the same field as you are.
Or, call the appropriate office in your city or state to see what assistance they can provide. You’ll be pleasantly surprised; after all, it’s to their interest to get you to work…. and off the dole.
More sage advice.
“The devil,” it is said, “is in the details.” And so it is. Thus you must master them:
* You must look as spruce and tidy as possible apropos the old adage, “Dress for others; eat for yourself”.
* Always be on time, never late.
* Never, ever use text messaging language. That is the kiss of death 4 u.
* Brainstorm a list of ways you can help the person and company considering you. They’ll be impressed you took the time.
* Never hand write your application. Take it home and type it cleanly and clearly.
And NEVER have a liquid like coffee near at hand which could smudge your application; that would be most unfortunate and was a mistake Queen Cleopatra never made… but which others, sloppy, disorganized, inefficient so often do… Such a one was the celebrated actress Tallulah Bankhead. She played the role of Cleopatra in Shakespeare’s immortal play… but badly. “Tallulah Bankhead barged down the Nile last night, “said Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times,” and promptly sank.” But then she didn’t have the benefit of my advice, and you most assuredly do. You lucky dog.
## Your response to this article is requested. What do you think? Let us know by posting your comments below.