It’s better to look good, than to feel good, Part II

Today’s quick post reflects on looking good rather than feeling good — part II…

Specifically– hiding your nerves during a presentation, an interview, a tough time etc.. Looking polished when hosting a major Board meeting your second week on the job… Remaining calm when a peer or your boss gets canned just weeks before your review… those sorts of things.

Now, I will be the first to admit. I have the de-facto WORST poker-face on the planet. I couldn’t hide an emotion if I owned a grave to bury it in. However, with time and experience have come a few tried and true tricks to help me at least look good on the outside, while having a major internal voice or voices, in my head debate on the Inside.

1. Cut back on caffeine. I love coffee .. no really, love coffee. But on days when I have major events, or major work with groups.. I cut back significantly on my caffeine intake. The adrenaline from the event makes up any lack of energy I may have encountered without my daily espresso. It also (believe it or not) helps me keep my mouth shut.

2. Go to bed earlier.. Yep. I know.. Look at me .Typing this at 10pm. But some point, cut your losses and set your alarm for an earlier start time the next day. Your body will appreciate it.

3. Have your favorite/’I am lookin’ good and feelin’ saucy’ suit cleaned and ready to go ahead of time. Maybe for the gentlemen, treat yourself to a really sharp tie or set of cufflinks. We all know we have clothes that we really love and we feel great when we wear them at work.

4. Review your task list and print YOUR bosses calendar and your own for the next month. You just know someone will try to schedule something when the calendar is not handy.

5. Always.. Always.. Always.. have extra copies. (Even when your boss tells you NO extras.. politely agree, then print at least two.) It will LOOK good when the chair of finance committee doesn’t have their copy AND back up a copy of the Board Book, presentation or any other important document to a plug drive. You’ll be glad you did.


1. Do not decide to send an email to a family member or friend, co-worker or to that neighbor that let’s their dog use your yard…the evening before your presentation…. that you KNOW will stir trouble. Trust me.. it will be on your mind all night.

2. Do not decide to try out any of the following: new shoes, new hair cut, new color nail polish color, new font on a presentation.

3. Do not skip breakfast- eat some toast or a bagel.. and have some juice or milk with it. Don’t go with the greasy breakfast sandwich.. as yummy as they can be.. you just know part of it will end up on your suit.

4. Don’t forget to breathe…. sounds silly but true. Take a few deep breaths before heading into that meeting or that conference. It does make a difference.

5. Don’t forget that it’s ok to ask others for their help.. and the sneaky way to do it right in the meeting is to open up the floor for questions or phrase it like this…
[Scenario: overcrowded conference room… looks like there are no options. No iother space available in the venue.]

1. You can acknowledge the overcrowding to the attendees. Then ask the banquet captain if they have any suggestions for room set up that might help ease the crowding.

2. Ask your attendees.. point blank. “Looks like it’s too tight in here for everyone.. does anyone have a suggestion – Would anyone mind if we took out some tables?”

So.. being direct and proactive –even if one is understandably stressed on the inside is one way to look good.. even if you aren’t feeling good.

Please send your suggestions.. I’d like to post them.

PS. We’re one week away from Administrative Professionals Week.. Which will be the 1-Year anniversary of this blog! Hooray!

Author: KMK Foley

Storyteller. Wicked sense of humor. Tenacious learner, Coffee Lover, especially Dunkin' Donuts.