Not everyone was born with poise, but anyone can learn it. With the right mentor and enough dedication, even the most awkward of us can change.
What exactly is poise? It is a way of communicating to the world that you’re a lady of class and elegance. This form of nonverbal communication says a lot about you, as it projects an appealing image to the world. Poise is exuded in everything you say and do. From your posture, to the words that come out of your mouth, and how you carry yourself, all of this says a lot about who you are.
Before getting into the ABCs of developing poise, you have to understand the two fundamentals of elegance. First and foremost, you need to respect yourself. If you don’t respect and love yourself, there is no need for you to develop poise; it’s going to be totally lost on you.
Stuck in an unhappy relationship? Leave him. Feel taken advantage of by your colleagues? Organize a team meeting to fix it. The sooner you start loving and respecting yourself, the sooner you can begin your journey of developing poise and class. [Read: 11 easy tips to start loving and respecting yourself]
Second of all, you have to build up your confidence. If you’re unhappy with the way you look, go to the gym. If you don’t like your hair, get a new hair color. No matter what you’re unhappy about, fix it. Once you can look in the mirror and not cringe at what you see, you will notice a spike in your confidence level.
How to develop poise and grace
Here are 10 simple things that you can do to develop poise. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a lady of grace and elegance.
#1Pick a mentor. Like everything else, if you want to do it right, you have to learn from a master. There are women all over the world, from all eras and generations, who ooze charm and poise. Pick one, and absorb how she walks and talks. If you’re stuck, simply pick an actress and watch all her movies.
If they’re readily available, read her biography and load up on her interviews. I highly recommend studying Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. They are the epitome of elegance and will be great role models if you’re looking to develop poise. [Read: 13 inspiring ways to bring out the best in yourself]
#2 Carefully select your outfit. Coco Chanel once said, “Before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” In other words, be careful when selecting your outfit and be sure to keep it classy. Less is more, when trying to exude poise and elegance, so listen to Coco and do it right.
#3 Correct bad habits. Nothing is more hideous than watching a lady bite her nails. Correct all the little flaws that you have and be more mindful of how you act in public. Hair twirling is another no-no, and so is your Bitchy Resting Face. Wonder what a Bitchy Resting Face is? Crawl out from under that rock you’ve been hiding under and check this out.
#4 Be gentle. Another way to exude poise is to be gentle. Remember not to be a loudmouth the next time you’re out for drinks with your friends, and you’re well on your way to developing a sliver of poise. Also remember to be especially gentle when reacting to someone else. Consider their feelings and be kind, no matter the circumstance. [Read: The complete guide to being a lady who awes her man and everyone else]
#5 Smile more. Smile more, and you will be sure to turn heads. I don’t mean flashing toothy grins and ear-to-ear smiles for no reason at all. I mean small, knowing half-smiles. The goal is to light up the room without making others believe that you’re insane. When you have a smile on your face, you will not only exude poise, you’ll also display a lovely sense of class.
#6 Be respectful. Another simple way to develop poise is to always be respectful. It doesn’t matter where you are, or what you’re doing. Whether you’re over at a friend’s house for cocktails, or in the boardroom debating the pros and cons of a takeover, be mindful and respectful of your environment. There is nothing uglier than seeing a lady lose it over something miniscule.
#7 Be aware of your presence. You’re at a 5-star hotel lobby and, suddenly, you hear a ruckus at the front door. You turn and see a celebrity sweeping in, her head held high, large sunglasses covering half her face, adoring fans and photographers swarming around her. Despite the chaos, she purposefully struts forward to the waiting elevator, almost as though she is oblivious to everything and everyone in her way.
Poise comes in many forms. One way is by being aware of your presence, but acting like you’re unaware of it. Sounds rather confusing, but it really isn’t. You may not be a celebrity with dozens of people clamoring for your attention, but there’s no reason why you can’t have the confidence and poise to act like you do. [Read: How to feel sexy and desirable all the time]
#8 Watch your posture. A very important factor in developing poise is developing great posture. All the greats have impeccable posture. From Audrey Hepburn to Nicole Kidman, posture is everything when it comes to looking and feeling great.
According to former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Carine Roitfeld, “The most important thing is posture: when you get old, it’s the way you walk, the way you stand, that shows it.” Here is a great site that you can check out to work on that posture of yours.
#9 Be well read. Keep in mind that poise matters on the inside, just as much as it does on the outside. You may look the part, but people will know you’re a fraud the moment you open your mouth. How embarrassing, eh? So, what can you do? You read, of course. There’s nothing wrong with going all the way and indulging in literary classics, but be sure not to neglect the basics like current affairs, general knowledge, and geography. [Read: 10 easy steps to be a lot more graceful and elegant]
#10 Find a signature style. Like Grace Kelly, you should find a signature style. Grace adored pearl necklaces, white gloves, and a Hermà¨s crocodile leather handbag, which, thanks to her, become the most sought-after fashion accessory of all time. Even today, it is still in demand and boasts a yearlong wait list.
Rest assured: there’s no need for you to splurge on overpriced designer goods for you to develop the same poise and charm. All you have to do is remember that minimalism is key, and knowing what looks good on you will take you much further than the latest designer, on-trend item.
Developing poise takes plenty of effort, but with the right mindset, it is certainly doable. All you have to do is to dedicate yourself to it, and in no time at all, you could be this generation’s Audrey Hepburn. Good luck!
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Born in Singapore and raised in Malaysia to multi-racial parents, Lianne is a self-proclaimed travel and food junkie. Having traveled extensively around the wor...