Sheila Wong

The People’s Image Consultant

BOOK LAUNCH OF “21 DAYS OF ETIQUETTE”

March 1st, 2015

When you hear the words “Image Workshop” or “Image Seminar”, what are the thoughts that cross your mind? I believe these are the most common ones:
“Dressing”, “Fashion”, “Women”, “Shallow”, “Not for me”, “I am already well dressed”.

That was the struggle of the majority of the people in the past.

With the advent of social media, market trends changed. The name is now called BRANDING. The men feel more comfortable with this new terminology.

I googled the definition of two terms in the business dictionary and these are what came out:

Definition of BRAND IMAGE:

The impression in the consumers’ mind of a brand’s total personality. Brand image is developed over time through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme, and is authenticated through the consumers’ direct experience.

Definition of CORPORATE IMAGE :

Similar to a firm’s reputation or goodwill, it is the public perception of the firm rather than a reflection of its actual state or position. It is a composite psychological impression that is fluid and can change overnight from positive to negative to neutral.

In a nutshell, image is a perception and you can design and/or determine the kind of perception that you want others to have of you. You can have an image that speaks of your brand and your business.

Can I safely assume that most of us here today have our own business or our own career? Can I safely assume that most of us have a desire to do better than what we are doing now, go higher than where we are now and have more market presence?

If your answer is yes, can we afford not to have our own particular brand of personality that spells our ambitions or achievements packaged brilliantly in our outlook? An outlook that creates interest or intention to our uniqueness, and to be remembered positively by others. That is what I call POWERFUL PRESENCE.

DATO-DATO, DATIN-DATIN, HONORABLE GUESTS, VALUED FRIENDS, ESTEEMED MEMBERS OF THE PRESS.

Good afternoon and welcome to the official launch of my third book “21 DAYS OF ETIQUETTE”, and the Mandarin translated version of “YES, YOU CAN LOOK SLIMMER” in the trendy surroundings of Signature by the Hill.

Thank you for honoring me with your presence here today. Most of you have taken time off your business or your work and travelled from afar, to be with us today, to share in this glorious moment. I am deeply touched and humbled.

All of you, my wonderful and learned friends, I believe, have always associated me to image consulting, image training, especially as a corporate image trainer.

You may wonder where I find the time to write books with such a tight schedule in my image trainings, or why I want to write books when I have more than enough on my plate?

Let me share my secret with you.

It has always been others who put that seed into my thoughts. And thoughts are powerful.

It all started with this one participant who sat in one of my trainings at MIM (Malaysian Institute of Management). He was the CEO of a multi-national company. He told me that I could write a book with the amount of written material that I gave out as course materials in the training.

That was the seed. That was how my first book “Groom or Broom” came about, with the help of my co-author then, Mr. K.K. Ng. Since then, a few corporations have used “Groom or Broom” to set their grooming standards.

Few years later, another seed was planted in my thoughts. It was during the many trainings that I was doing for Maybank that gave food to those seeds. The female participants were always staying back during breaks to ask me personal questions about the right cuts for their body shapes. I was no artist, but I began sketching the cuts for all the body shapes.

I saw the need then for a book to address the woman’s quest to look slimmer. A book that first helps the reader identify her body shape, her body proportions and the various cuts of skirts, dresses, jackets that will go in alignment with her body shape. And that will help her not to be victim of fashion slavery, but to be fashion savvy with suitable cuts.

With that, “Yes, You Can Look Slimmer” was conceived. I wanted an editor who understood body shapes and cuts. So my editor, Kenneth Shee, in his earnestness to edit the book intelligently, went through the Express Executive Course, an internationally recognized certification course conducted by SWET to train image consultants.

When I started image coaching on personal branding for individuals, most of those who came were successful SME bosses and high-level professionals. More than half of them used Mandarin as a medium of communication, and preferred course materials to be in Mandarin.

To my own surprise, albeit being English-educated and with no Chinese education whatsoever, I was often requested to speak and conduct trainings at conferences in Mandarin, locally and overseas.

There was indeed, an urgent need to have my book translated into Mandarin, so that my Mandarin speaking participants and clients could also benefit from this.

Who do I look for as a translator for the Mandarin version of “Yes, You Can Look Slimmer”? Apart from having a good command of the Mandarin language, I also needed the translator who knew the subject matter well and had a passion for the subject. That person is my own graduate, also a member of our SWET team of consultants, Gigue Lim. Painstakingly, Gigue translated the book and ultimately, is a winner as the endless hours toiling through the book has enhanced her knowledge and strength in the subject.

At the time when I was having “Yes, You Can Look Slimmer” translated into Mandarin, I was already thinking of writing my third book, which would be on etiquette. It was a natural progression as etiquette plays a huge part in Powerful Presence.

Fifteen years into corporate image training, public image seminars and personal branding coaching, I discovered that there are a lot of job seekers, people jostling for higher positions in business and even successful SME owners who are in dire need of a boost in their savvy in the practice of etiquette.

“21 Days of Etiquette” started long before I wrote the book. It is a culmination of my fifteen years of image consulting experience, expertise and exposure, to come up with a simple, yet relevant guidebook to help Malaysians and foreigners locally and globally.

It has always been my philosophy as a trainer and speaker that “It is not how much the trainer teaches but how much the student receives”.
Following the same philosophy for this book, it is not how impressive my words are, how much information I can pack inside, but it is how much the reader gets and how much the reader understands.

I earnestly believe that regardless of the reader’s educational level; as long as they have an ambition to progress in their career or business, they can pick up “21 Days of Etiquette” to build good etiquette practices in 21 days. As Dr. Waltis Malt said “it takes 21 days to build a habit”.

The fruition of “21 Days of Etiquette” is the result of two very important people in my life.

First is my co-author, Kenneth Shee. Yes, the same Kenneth who edited “Yes, You Can Look Slimmer”. I wanted someone to pen my words down, the way that I normally speak at my image trainings and seminars. I wanted someone who knew the subject well, and familiar with my style of speaking and teaching. So it was only natural that I invited Kenneth to be my co-author. And I am glad I did.
Kenneth also acted as my censor board, as he cut off or amended some of my more colloquial language and added finesse to the material. He found my artist for me, an amazing young lady by the name of Sue-Anne, who delivered the illustrations the way we wanted them. The book was given its final polish with amazing editing work by my very eloquent friend, LeAnn Tang.

Next is my business partner, Enrique Tsou. A life coach, an inspirational speaker and an etiquette consultant by profession, Enrique has been instrumental in helping me to bring up the competency and effectiveness of our image programs to be of international standard. That has certainly added more international presence to my status as an Image Consultant and Presenter. He has given his support unconditionally in the development of all my books.

If you flick through the pages of both books, you will notice that illustrations are a big part of the book, to ease understanding. Every chapter has a colored photo of one or a few models. Who are these models? Ordinary people like you and me. They are my participants and students who have been through my trainings or programs, and have transformed, progressed, grown. Real people, Real change.

My book models have come forward willingly to share with the world that all of us have a shape, and when we embrace our shape and our size, and dress in alignment with our shape, we can create presence with our outlook. Every start of a chapter in “21 Days of Etiquette” shows the models in an action. This action tells of the title of the chapter. Ordinary people like you and I become extraordinary when we display positive body language, employ courtesy, and the right etiquette in our business and social dealings.

And that is what we strive to achieve. To help ordinary people create Powerful Presence that exudes their extraordinary side. Because, we believe, you are extraordinary. And you deserve to be treated as such.

After all, we are the PEOPLE’S IMAGE CONSULTANT