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The self presentation theory and how to present your best self


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What does self presentation mean?

What are self presentation goals, individual differences and self presentation.

How can you make the most of the self presentation theory at work?  

We all want others to see us as confident, competent, and likeable — even if we don’t necessarily feel that way all the time. In fact, we make dozens of decisions every day — whether consciously or unconsciously — to get people to see us as we want to be seen. But is this kind of self presentation dishonest? Shouldn’t we just be ourselves?

Success requires interacting with other people. We can’t control the other side of those interactions. But we can think about how the other person might see us and make choices about what we want to convey. 

Self presentation is any behavior or action made with the intention to influence or change how other people see you. Anytime we're trying to get people to think of us a certain way, it's an act of self presentation. Generally speaking, we work to present ourselves as favorably as possible. What that means can vary depending on the situation and the other person.

Although at first glance this may seem disingenuous, we all engage in self-presentation. We want to make sure that we show up in a way that not only makes us look good, but makes us feel good about ourselves.

Early research on self presentation focused on narcissism and sociopathy, and how people might use the impression others have of them to manipulate others for their benefit. However, self presentation and manipulation are distinct. After all, managing the way others see us works for their benefit as well as ours.

Imagine, for example, a friend was complaining to you about   a tough time they were having at work . You may want to show up as a compassionate person. However, it also benefits your friend — they feel heard and able to express what is bothering them when you appear to be present, attentive, and considerate of their feelings. In this case, you’d be conscious of projecting a caring image, even if your mind was elsewhere, because you value the relationship and your friend’s experience.

To some extent, every aspect of our lives depends on successful self-presentation. We want our families to feel that we are worthy of attention and love. We present ourselves as studious and responsible to our teachers. We want to seem fun and interesting at a party, and confident at networking events. Even landing a job depends on you convincing the interviewer that you are the best person for the role.

There are three main reasons why people engage in self presentation:

Tangible or social benefits:

In order to achieve the results we want, it often requires that we behave a certain way. In other words, certain behaviors are desirable in certain situations. Matching our behavior to the circumstances can help us connect to others,   develop a sense of belonging , and attune to the needs and feelings of others.

Example:   Michelle is   a new manager . At her first leadership meeting, someone makes a joke that she doesn’t quite get. When everyone else laughs, she smiles, even though she’s not sure why.

By laughing along with the joke, Michelle is trying to fit in and appear “in the know.” Perhaps more importantly, she avoids feeling (or at least appearing) left out, humorless, or revealing that she didn’t get it — which may hurt her confidence and how she interacts with the group in the future.

To facilitate social interaction:

As mentioned, certain circumstances and roles call for certain behaviors. Imagine a defense attorney. Do you think of them a certain way? Do you have expectations for what they do — or don’t — do? If you saw them frantically searching for their car keys, would you feel confident with them defending your case?

If the answer is no, then you have a good idea of why self presentation is critical to social functioning. We’re surprised when people don’t present themselves in a way that we feel is consistent with the demands of their role. Having an understanding of what is expected of you — whether at home, work, or in relationships — may help you succeed by inspiring confidence in others.

Example:   Christopher has always been called a “know-it-all.” He reads frequently and across a variety of topics, but gets nervous and tends to talk over people. When attending a networking event, he is uncharacteristically quiet. Even though he would love to speak up, he’s afraid of being seen as someone who “dominates” the conversation. 

Identity Construction:

It’s not enough for us to declare who we are or what we want to be — we have to take actions consistent with that identity. In many cases, we also have to get others to buy into this image of ourselves as well. Whether it’s a personality trait or a promotion, it can be said that we’re not who   we   think we are, but who others see.

Example:   Jordan is interested in moving to a client-facing role. However, in their last performance review, their manager commented that Jordan seemed “more comfortable working independently.” 

Declaring themselves a “people person” won’t make Jordan’s manager see them any differently. In order to gain their manager’s confidence, Jordan will have to show up as someone who can comfortably engage with clients and thrive in their new role.

We may also use self presentation to reinforce a desired identity for ourselves. If we want to accomplish something, make a change, or   learn a new skill , making it public is a powerful strategy. There's a reason why people who share their goals are more likely to be successful. The positive pressure can help us stay accountable to our commitments in a way that would be hard to accomplish alone.

Example:   Fatima wants to run a 5K. She’s signed up for a couple before, but her perfectionist tendencies lead her to skip race day because she feels she hasn’t trained enough. However, when her friend asks her to run a 5K with her, she shows up without a second thought.

In Fatima’s case, the positive pressure — along with the desire to serve a more important value (friendship) — makes showing up easy.

Because we spend so much time with other people (and our success largely depends on what they think of us), we all curate our appearance in one way or another. However, we don’t all desire to have people see us in the same way or to achieve the same goals. Our experiences and outcomes may vary based on a variety of factors.

One important factor is our level of self-monitoring when we interact with others. Some people are particularly concerned about creating a good impression, while others are uninterested. This can vary not only in individuals, but by circumstances.   A person may feel very confident at work , but nervous about making a good impression on a first date.

Another factor is self-consciousness — that is, how aware people are of themselves in a given circumstance. People that score high on scales of public self-consciousness are aware of how they come across socially. This tends to make it easier for them to align their behavior with the perception that they want others to have of them.

Finally, it's not enough to simply want other people to see you differently. In order to successfully change how other people perceive you, need to have three main skills: 

1. Perception and empathy

Successful self-presentation depends on being able to correctly perceive   how people are feeling , what's important to them, and which traits you need to project in order to achieve your intended outcomes.

2. Motivation

If we don’t have a compelling reason to change the perception that others have of us, we are not likely to try to change our behavior. Your desire for a particular outcome, whether it's social or material, creates a sense of urgency.

3.  A matching skill set

You’ve got to be able to walk the talk. Your actions will convince others more than anything you say. In other words, you have to provide evidence that you are the person you say you are. You may run into challenges if you're trying to portray yourself as skilled in an area where you actually lack experience.

How can you make the most of the self presentation theory at work?

At its heart, self presentation requires a high-level of self awareness and empathy. In order to make sure that we're showing up as our best in every circumstance — and with each person — we have to be aware of our own motivation as well as what would make the biggest difference to the person in front of us.

Here are 6 strategies to learn to make the most of the self-presentation theory in your career:

1. Get feedback from people around you

Ask a trusted friend or mentor to share what you can improve. Asking for feedback about specific experiences, like a recent project or presentation, will make their suggestions more relevant and easier to implement.

2. Study people who have been successful in your role

Look at how they interact with other people. How do you perceive them? Have they had to cultivate particular skills or ways of interacting with others that may not have come easily to them?

3. Be yourself

Look for areas where you naturally excel and stand out. If you feel comfortable, confident, and happy, you’ll have an easier time projecting that to others. It’s much harder to present yourself as confident when you’re uncomfortable.

4. Be aware that you may mess up

As you work to master new skills and ways of interacting with others,   keep asking for feedback . Talk to your manager, team, or a trusted friend about how you came across. If you sense that you’ve missed the mark, address it candidly. People will understand, and you’ll learn more quickly.

Try saying, “I hope that didn’t come across as _______. I want you to know that…”

5. Work with a coach

Coaches are skilled in interpersonal communication and committed to your success. Roleplay conversations to see how they land, and practice what you’ll say and do in upcoming encounters. Over time, a coach will also begin to know you well enough to notice patterns and suggest areas for improvement.

6. The identity is in the details

Don’t forget about the other aspects of your presentation. Take a moment to visualize yourself being the way that you want to be seen. Are there certain details that would make you feel more like that person? Getting organized, refreshing your wardrobe, rewriting your resume, and even cleaning your home office can all serve as powerful affirmations of your next-level self.

Self presentation is defined as the way we try to control how others see us, but it’s just as much about how we see ourselves. It is a skill to achieve a level of comfort with who we are   and   feel confident to choose how we self-present. Consciously working to make sure others get to see the very best of you is a wonderful way to develop into the person you want to be.

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Self-presentation, self-presentation definition.

Self-presentation refers to how people attempt to present themselves to control or shape how others (called the audience) view them. It involves expressing oneself and behaving in ways that create a desired impression. Self-presentation is part of a broader set of behaviors called impression management. Impression management refers to the controlled presentation of information about all sorts of things, including information about other people or events. Self-presentation refers specifically to information about the self.

Self-Presentation History and Modern Usage

Early work on impression management focused on its manipulative, inauthentic uses that might typify a used car salesperson who lies to sell a car, or someone at a job interview who embellishes accomplishments to get a job. However, researchers now think of self-presentation more broadly as a pervasive aspect of life. Although some aspects of self-presentation are deliberate and effortful (and at times deceitful), other aspects are automatic and done with little or no conscious thought. For example, a woman may interact with many people during the day and may make different impressions on each person. When she starts her day at her apartment, she chats with her roommates and cleans up after breakfast, thereby presenting the image of being a good friend and responsible roommate. During classes, she responds to her professor’s questions and carefully takes notes, presenting the image of being a good student. Later that day, she calls her parents and tells them about her classes and other activities (although likely leaving out information about some activities), presenting the image of being a loving and responsible daughter. That night, she might go to a party or dancing with friends, presenting the image of being fun and easygoing. Although some aspects of these self-presentations may be deliberate and conscious, other aspects are not. For example, chatting with her roommates and cleaning up after breakfast may be habitual behaviors that are done with little conscious thought. Likewise, she may automatically hold the door open for an acquaintance or buy a cup of coffee for a friend. These behaviors, although perhaps not done consciously or with self-presentation in mind, nevertheless convey an image of the self to others.

Although people have the ability to present images that are false, self-presentations are often genuine; they reflect an attempt by the person to have others perceive him or her accurately, or at least consistent with how the person perceives himself or herself. Self-presentations can vary as a function of the audience; people present different aspects of themselves to different audiences or under different conditions. A man likely presents different aspects of himself to his close friends than he does to his elderly grandmother, and a woman may present a different image to her spouse than she does to her employer. This is not to say that these different images are false. Rather, they represent different aspects of the self. The self is much like a gem with multiple facets. The gem likely appears differently depending on the angle at which it is viewed. However, the various appearances are all genuine. Even if people present a self-image that they know to be false, they may begin to internalize the self-image and thereby eventually come to believe the self-pres

entation. For example, a man may initially present an image of being a good student without believing it to be genuine, but after attending all his classes for several weeks, visiting the professor during office hours, and asking questions during class, he may come to see himself as truly being a good student. This internalization process is most likely to occur when people make a public commitment to the self-image, when the behavior is at least somewhat consistent with their self-image, and when they receive positive feedback or other rewards for presenting the self-image.

Self-presentation is often directed to external audiences such as friends, lovers, employers, teachers, children, and even strangers. Self-presentation is more likely to be conscious when the presenter depends on the audience for some reward, expects to interact with the audience in the future, wants something from the audience, or values the audience’s approval. Yet self-presentation extends beyond audiences that are physically present to imagined audiences, and these imagined audiences can have distinct effects on behavior. A young man at a party might suddenly think about his parents and change his behavior from rambunctious to reserved. People sometimes even make self-presentations only for themselves. For instance, people want to claim certain identities, such as being fun, intelligent, kind, moral, and they may behave in line with these identities even in private.

Self-Presentation Goals

Self-presentation is inherently goal-directed; people present certain images because they benefit from the images in some way. The most obvious benefits are interpersonal, arising from getting others to do what one wants. A job candidate may convey an image of being hardworking and dependable to get a job; a salesperson may convey an image of being trustworthy and honest to achieve a sale. People may also benefit from their self-presentations by gaining respect, power, liking, or other desirable social rewards. Finally, people make certain impressions on others to maintain a sense of who they are, or their self-concept. For example, a man who wants to think of himself as a voracious reader might join a book club or volunteer at a library, or a woman who wishes to perceive herself as generous may contribute lavishly to a charitable cause. Even when there are few or no obvious benefits of a particular self-presentation, people may simply present an image that is consistent with the way they like to think about themselves, or at least the way they are accustomed to thinking about themselves.

Much of self-presentation is directed toward achieving one of two desirable images. First, people want to appear likeable. People like others who are attractive, interesting, and fun to be with. Thus, a sizable proportion of self-presentation revolves around developing, maintaining, and enhancing appearance and conveying and emphasizing characteristics that others desire, admire, and enjoy. Second, people want to appear competent. People like others who are skilled and able, and thus another sizable proportion of self-presentation revolves around conveying an image of competence. Yet, self-presentation is not so much about presenting desirable images as it is about presenting desired images, and some desired images are not necessarily desirable. For example, schoolyard bullies may present an image of being dangerous or intimidating to gain or maintain power over others. Some people present themselves as weak or infirmed (or exaggerate their weaknesses) to gain help from others. For instance, a member of a group project may display incompetence in the hope that other members will do more of the work, or a child may exaggerate illness to avoid going to school.

Self-Presentation Avenues

People self-present in a variety of ways. Perhaps most obviously, people self-present in what they say. These verbalizations can be direct claims of a particular image, such as when a person claims to be altruistic. They also can be indirect, such as when a person discloses personal behaviors or standards (e.g., “I volunteer at a hospital”). Other verbal presentations emerge when people express attitudes or beliefs. Divulging that one enjoys backpacking through Europe conveys the image that one is a world-traveler. Second, people self-present nonverbally in their physical appearance, body language, and other behavior. Smiling, eye contact, and nods of agreement can convey a wealth of information. Third, people self-present through the props they surround themselves with and through their associations. Driving an expensive car or flying first class conveys an image of having wealth, whereas an array of diplomas and certificates on one’s office walls conveys an image of education and expertise. Likewise, people judge others based on their associations. For example, being in the company of politicians or movie stars conveys an image of importance, and not surprisingly, many people display photographs of themselves with famous people. In a similar vein, high school students concerned with their status are often careful about which classmates they are seen and not seen with publicly. Being seen by others in the company of someone from a member of a disreputable group can raise questions about one’s own social standing.

Self-Presentation Pitfalls

Self-presentation is most successful when the image presented is consistent with what the audience thinks or knows to be true. The more the image presented differs from the image believed or anticipated by the audience, the less willing the audience will be to accept the image. For example, the lower a student’s grade is on the first exam, the more difficulty he or she will have in convincing a professor that he or she will earn an A on the next exam. Self-presentations are constrained by audience knowledge. The more the audience knows about a person, the less freedom the person has in claiming a particular identity. An audience that knows very little about a person will be more accepting of whatever identity the person conveys, whereas an audience that knows a great deal about a person will be less accepting.

People engaging in self-presentation sometimes encounter difficulties that undermine their ability to convey a desired image. First, people occasionally encounter the multiple audience problem, in which they must simultaneously present two conflicting images. For example, a student while walking with friends who know only her rebellious, impetuous side may run into her professor who knows only her serious, conscientious side. The student faces the dilemma of conveying the conflicting images of rebellious friend and serious student. When both audiences are present, the student must try to behave in a way that is consistent with how her friends view her, but also in a way that is consistent with how her professor views her. Second, people occasionally encounter challenges to their self-presentations. The audience may not believe the image the person presents. Challenges are most likely to arise when people are managing impressions through self-descriptions and the self-descriptions are inconsistent with other evidence. For example, a man who claims to be good driver faces a self-presentational dilemma if he is ticketed or gets in an automobile accident. Third, self-presentations can fail when people lack the cognitive resources to present effectively because, for example, they are tired, anxious, or distracted. For instance, a woman may yawn uncontrollably or reflexively check her watch while talking to a boring classmate, unintentionally conveying an image of disinterest.

Some of the most important images for people to convey are also the hardest. As noted earlier, among the most important images people want to communicate are likeability and competence. Perhaps because these images are so important and are often rewarded, audiences may be skeptical of accepting direct claims of likeability and competence from presenters, thinking that the person is seeking personal gain. Thus, people must resort to indirect routes to create these images, and the indirect routes can be misinterpreted. For example, the student who sits in the front row of the class and asks a lot of questions may be trying to project an image of being a competent student but may be perceived negatively as a teacher’s pet by fellow students.

Finally, there is a dark side to self-presentation. In some instances, the priority people place on their appearances or images can threaten their health . People who excessively tan are putting a higher priority on their appearance (e.g., being tan) than on their health (e.g., taking precautions to avoid skin cancer). Similarly, although condoms help protect against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy, self-presentational concerns may dissuade partners or potential partners from discussing, carrying, or using condoms. Women may fear that carrying condoms makes them seem promiscuous or easy, whereas men may fear that carrying condoms makes them seem presumptuous, as if they are expecting to have sex. Self-presentational concerns may also influence interactions with health care providers and may lead people to delay or avoid embarrassing medical tests and procedures or treatments for conditions that are embarrassing. For example, people may be reluctant to seek tests or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, loss of bladder control, mental disorders, mental decline, or other conditions associated with weakness or incompetence. Finally, concerns with social acceptance may prompt young people to engage in risky behaviors such as excessive alcohol consumption, sexual promiscuity, or juvenile delinquency.

References: -- Online dictionary and encyclopedia of facts, information, and biographies



Self-presentation is the process by which individuals represent themselves to the social world. This process occurs at both conscious and nonconscious (automatic) levels and is usually motivated by a desire to please others and/or meet the needs of the self. Self-presentation can be used as a means to manage the impressions others form of oneself. Strategic or tactical self-presentation (impression management) occurs when individuals seek to create a desired image or invoke a desired response from others.

The concept of self-presentation emerged from the symbolic interactionist (SI) tradition. The SI tradition is a uniquely sociological contribution to the field of social psychology that attends to the processes by which individuals create and negotiate the social world. SI proposes that it is through interaction and the development of shared meanings (symbolism) that individuals navigate the social world. The works of Erving Goffman , especially The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), exemplify the SI tradition and are seminal contributions to the study of impression management and self-presentation.

Goffman employs a dramaturgical metaphor in which he maps elements of social interaction to the stage. Working at the microsociological level, Goffman focused on the process by which actors construct roles and portray them to an audience. The social actor works to create a front that is both believable and elicits the approval of others. Goffman ’ s work on impression management and self-presentation provides a roadmap for understanding human behavior and the tension between the individual and society.

Subsequent to Goffman ’ s early articulations of ideas of self-presentation, experimental social psychologists such as Edward E. Jones and Barry R. Schlenker devised experimental methods for the study of self-presentation. This fruitful work provided empirical data about self-presentation that fueled the development of theoretical accounts of self-presentation (e.g., Schlenker 1975). Jones ’ s important text Ingratiation presented ingratiation as a form of impression management by which actors can elicit positive responses from others (Jones 1964). One taxonomy of self-presentation strategies includes ingratiation, intimidation, self-promotion, exemplification, and supplication (Jones and Pittman 1982).

Self-presentation is an important part of social life and is largely a prosocial way that individuals negotiate social interactions. Yet, for the individual, the process of self-presentation may be fraught with tension. These tensions were presented in Goffman ’ s pioneering work, which provided a sensitive account of internal tensions that can arise in the trade-offs between the need for social approval and the desire for authenticity. Arlie Russell Hochschild ’ s The Managed Heart (1983) focuses on the emotional work involved in self-presentation. Other scholars (e.g., Erickson and Wharton 1997) have also addressed the conflicts that can arise in self-presentation. Not all individuals attempt or are willing to portray an inaccurate image to their audiences. For some people, psychological needs other than the need for social approval drive behavior.

Self-presentation is complex: It is both an individual difference variable and a function of social situations. Self-presentation strategies differ across individuals but also are influenced by environmental factors. In addition to self-presentation differences observed according to age, gender, and culture, researchers have observed differences in self-presentation based on environmental factors. That is, individuals may elect to alter their self-presentations in response to cues from the social environment. As used here, cues refer to both environmental cues such as the social context (i.e., how public the setting is) and interpersonal cues such as the perceived responses of others. Individuals may also differ in the extent to which they engage in self-monitoring. Self-monitoring is the extent to which individuals monitor their behavior and self-presentation in response to real or perceived interactional cues.

Self-presentation is both an individual experience and a social phenomenon and highlights the tensions inherent in human interaction.

SEE ALSO Goffman, Erving; Ingratiation; Self-Concept; Self-Esteem; Self-Monitoring; Self-Representation; Social Psychology

Erickson, Rebecca, and Amy S. Wharton. 1997. Inauthenticity and Depression: Assessing the Consequences of Interactive Service Work. Work and Occupations 24: 188 – 213.

Goffman, Erving. 1959. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York : Anchor.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell. 1983. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Jones, Edward E. 1964. Ingratiation: A Social Psychological Analysis . New York : Meredith.

Jones, Edward E., and Thane S. Pittman. 1982. Toward a General Theory of Strategic Self-Presentation. In Psychological Perspectives on the Self. Vol. 1, ed. Jerry Suls, 231 – 262. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Schlenker, Barry. R. 1975. Self-Presentation: Managing the Impression of Consistency when Reality Interferes with Self-Enhancement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32: 1030 – 1037.

Alexis T. Franzese

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Psychology Dictionary


Any behaviour that is designed to convey an image about ourselves to other people. This explains why our behaviour can change if we notice we are being watched. See impression management.

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What does self-presentation mean?

Self presentation is any behavior or action made with the intention to influence or change how other people see you . Anytime we’re trying to get people to think of us a certain way, it’s an act of self presentation. Generally speaking, we work to present ourselves as favorably as possible.

What is an example of presentation of self?

Self-serving self-presentation entails behaviors that present a person as highly skilled, willing to challenge others, and someone not to be messed with. For example, a supervisor may publicly take credit for the accomplishments of others or publicly critique an employee who failed to meet a particular standard .

What are the 5 self-presentation strategies?

1.2 Self-presentation strategies

On the other hand, Jones and Pittman (1982) analyze self- presentation tactics based on five basic factors – exemplification, self-promo- tion, ingratiation, intimidation, and supplication .

How will you apply the concept of selective self-presentation in using the social media?

Through social media and camera phones, users enact selective self-presentation as they choose, edit, and post photographs of themselves (such as selfies) to social networking sites for an imagined audience .

What is selective self-presentation and impression management?

Self-presentation refers to how people attempt to present themselves to control or shape how others (called the audience) view them . It involves expressing oneself and behaving in ways that create a desired impression. Self-presentation is part of a broader set of behaviors called impression management.

What are the 4 types of presentation?

There are four types of Presentation 1 Informative- use to inform your audience 2 Instructional- to instruct or teach your audience 3 Arousing- use to arouse interest among audience on the topic. 4 Persuasive- use to make listener accept and agree you proposal.

Self-Presentation … What is it?

Selective self-presentation and impression management, 24.0 similar questions has been found, what is the main goal of self-presentation.

In sociology and social psychology, self-presentation is the conscious or unconscious process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. The goal is for one to present themselves the way in which they would like to be thought of by the individual or group they are interacting with .

What are the 7 self-presentation strategies?

SELF-PRESENTATION STRATEGIES 1.2.1 Ingratiation – 1.2.2 Modesty – 1.2.3 Self-promotion – 1.2.4 Exemplification – 1.2.5 Intimidation- 1.2.6 Supplication– 1.2.7 7 Self-Handicapping–

What is the importance of self-presentation?

Personal presentation is about conveying appropriate signals for the situation and for the other individuals involved . People who lack self-esteem and confidence may fail to convey their message effectively or fully utilise their skills and abilities because of the way they present themselves.

What is self-presentation strategies?

Strategic or tactical self-presentation (impression management) occurs when individuals seek to create a desired image or invoke a desired response from others .

What’s another word for self-presentation?

In this page you can discover 5 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for self-presentation, like: self-representation , inter-personal, interpersonal, self-reflection and meaning-making.

What is self-presentation on social media?

Social media affords users the ability to control how they present themselves to their audience . People generally choose to show an ideal self-image on social media. However, this may be dependent on the strength of their ties to the audience that can see their content.

How does social media impact self presentation?

In the case of the SNS (Social network service) environment, people have been known to lie about age, gender, job, and relationships status (Wright et al., 2018). SNSs can accelerate lying self-presentation because users have control over the activities with which they present themselves (Kim and Tussyadiah, 2013).

Do people present their true selves on social media?

In line with this “self-idealization perspective”, research has shown that self-expressions on social media platforms are often idealized, exaggerated, and unrealistic 1 . That is, social media users often act as virtual curators of their online selves 2 by staging or editing content they present to others 3 .

What is Goffman’s self-presentation theory?

In The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman (1959) outlined his concept of strategic self- presentation as follows: that “ when an individual appears before others, he knowingly and unwittingly projects . a definition of the situation, of which a conception of himself is an important part ” (p. 235).

What is Goffman’s impression management?

Goffman coined the term impression management to refer to our desire to manipulate others’ impressions of us on the front stage . According to Goffman, we use various mechanisms, called sign vehicles, to present ourselves to others. The most commonly employed sign vehicles are the following: Social setting. Appearance.

What is Goffman’s impression management theory?

Goffman’s (1959) impression management theory is one of the most well-known theories in identity performances . Goffman argued that individuals present the self based on the perceived audience in their front stage. Identity presentations are constructed and prepared through the backstage.

What are the 3 types of presentation?

There are 3 types of presentations: The presentation you deliver, the presentation you print and the presentation you email .

What are the 5 types of presentation?

What are the 6 types of presentation?

What is the difference between perceived self and presenting self?

The perceived self is the person each of us believes we are when we examine ourselves. The presenting self is the public image we present, which is normally a socially approved image.

What is self-presentation PDF?

Translate PDF. SELF-PRESENTATION: BY ALEX KEYA Self-presentation is the behavior that attempts to convey some information about oneself or some image of one self to other people . Self-presentational behavior is any behavior intended to create, modify, or maintain an impression of ourselves in the minds of others.

What are the 7 self-presentation strategies developed by Jones and Pittman?

Jones and Pittman (1982) developed a taxonomy of impression manage- ment techniques that individuals commonly use. Their taxonomy included self- promotion, ingratiation, exemplification, intimidation, and supplication .

What is an example of self monitoring?

An example of self-monitoring at work could include using a checklist to stay focused on the tasks you need to complete and observing how often you get off task with non-work related activities .

Why is personal presentation important at work?

Personal presentation is just as important as a skill or qualification and every employee of a company must understand and be fully aware of the effect of their personal appearance because your “overall look” symbolises what you are and it is an instant communication of “first impression” to other people .

Which of the following is true about self-presentation?

Which of the following is true of self-presentation? Self-presentation is a way of strategically gaining control over one’s life, to increase one’s rewards and minimize one’s costs.

Why self-presentation is important?

What are the motives of self-presentation.

Self-presentation is behavior that attempts to convey some information about oneself or some image of oneself to other people. It denotes a class of motivations in human behavior. These motivations are in part stable dispositions of individuals but they depend on situational factors to elicit them .

What is an example of self perception theory?

Let’s say, for example, that you are a fan of classical music . According to self-perception theory, you didn’t decide that you like classical music because you think it’s the best type of music or because listening to it makes you feel good.

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What does self-presentation mean?

Definitions for self-presentation self-pre·sen·ta·tion, this dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word self-presentation ., how to pronounce self-presentation.

Alex US English David US English Mark US English Daniel British Libby British Mia British Karen Australian Hayley Australian Natasha Australian Veena Indian Priya Indian Neerja Indian Zira US English Oliver British Wendy British Fred US English Tessa South African

How to say self-presentation in sign language?

Chaldean Numerology

The numerical value of self-presentation in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

Pythagorean Numerology

The numerical value of self-presentation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of self-presentation in a Sentence

Montana Miller :

It seems fairly obvious that the style of self-presentation is directly imitating that of celebrities such as the Kardashians—flaunting bodies and expressions in the most sexually provocative way possible, it is extremely troubling that these girls find it more important to attract attention in this way, entirely fashioned for the pleasure of the male gaze, rather than expressing their true personalities, passions or achievements.

Allison Gabriel :

Women tend to have higher self-presentation costs than men and are likely to feel heightened pressure to demonstrate competence by appearing extra vigilant on camera, additionally, as women took on disproportionate childcare demands compared to men during the pandemic, they are more likely to have kids in the background, which could unfortunately call into question their ability to be committed to their work and their ability to focus. We also tend to hold women to higher standards for physical appearance. Being on camera can exacerbate all of these things.

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Impression Management & Self Presentation (Goffman)

Charlotte Nickerson

Research Assistant at Harvard University

Undergraduate at Harvard University

Charlotte Nickerson is a student at Harvard University obsessed with the intersection of mental health, productivity, and design.

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Educator, Researcher

BSc (Hons) Psychology, MRes, PhD, University of Manchester

Saul Mcleod, Ph.D., is a qualified psychology teacher with over 18 years experience of working in further and higher education.

Impression Management in Sociology

Impression management, also known as self-presentation, refers to the ways that people use to attempt to control how they are perceived by others (Goffman, 1959).

By conveying particular impressions about their abilities, attitudes, motives, status, emotional reactions, and other characteristics, people can influence others to respond to them in desirable ways.

Impression management is a common way for people to influence one another in order to obtain various goals.

While earlier theorists (e.g., Burke, 1950; Hart & Burk, 1972) offered perspectives on the person as a performer, Goffman (1959) was the first to develop a specific theory concerning self presentation.

In his well-known work, Goffman created the foundation and the defining principles of what is commonly referred to as impression management.

In explicitly laying out a purpose for his work, Goffman (1959) proposes to “consider the ways in which the individual in ordinary work situations presents himself and his activity to others, the ways in which he guides and controls the impression they form of him, and the kind of things he may or may not do while sustaining his performance before them.” (p. xi)

Social Interaction

Goffman viewed impression management not only as a means of influencing how one is treated by other people but also as an essential part of social interaction.

He communicates this view through the conceit of theatre. Actors give different performances in front of different audiences, and the actors and the audience cooperate in negotiating and maintaining the definition of a situation.

To Goffman, the self was not a fixed thing which resides within individuals, but a social process. For social interactions to go smoothly, every interactant needs to project a public identity that guides others’ behaviors (Goffman, 1959, 1963; Leary, 2001; Tseelon, 1992).

Goffman defines that when people enter the presence of others that we communicate information by verbal intentional methods and by non-verbal unintentional methods.

According to Goffman, individuals participate in social interactions through performing a “line” or “a pattern of verbal and nonverbal acts by which he expresses his view of the situation and through this his evaluation of the participants, especially himself” (1967, p. 5).

Such lines are created and maintained by both the performer and the audience. By enacting a line effectively, a person gains positive social value or “face.”

The verbal intentional methods allow us to establish who we are and what we wish to directly communicate. We must use these methods for the majority of the actual communication of data.

Goffman is mostly interested in the non-verbal clues given off which are less easily manipulated. When these clues are manipulated the receiver generally still has the upper hand in determining how realistic the clues that are given off are.

People use these clues to determine how to treat a person and if the intentional verbal responses given off are actually honest. It is also known that most people give off clues which help to represent them in a positive light, which tends to be compensated for by the receiver.

Impression Management Techniques

Self-Presentation Examples

Self-presentation can affect emotional experience . For example, people can become socially anxious when they are motivated to make a desired impression on others but doubt that they can do so successfully (Leary, 2001).

In one paper on self-presentation and emotional experience, Schlenker and Leary (1982) argue that, in contrast to the drive models of anxiety, the cognitive state of the individual mediates both arousal and behavior.

The researchers examine the traditional inverted-U anxiety-performance curve (popularly known as the Yerkes-Dodson law) in this light.

The researchers propose that people are interpersonally secure when they do not have the goal of creating a particular impression on others.

They are not immediately concerned about others’ evaluative reactions in a social setting where they are attempting to create a particular impression and believe that they will be successful in doing so.

Meanwhile, people are anxious when they are uncertain about how to go about creating a certain impression (such as when they do not know what sort of attributes the other person is likely to be impressed with), think that they will not be able to project the types of images that will produce preferred reactions from others.

Such people think that they will not be able to project the desired image strongly enough, or believe that some event will happen that will repudiate their self-presentations, causing reputational damage (Schlenker and Leary, 1982).

Psychologists have also studied impression management in the context of mental and physical health .

In one such study, Braginsky et al. (1969) showed that those hospitalized with schizophrenia modify the severity of their “disordered” behavior depending on whether making a more or less “disordered” impression would be most beneficial to them (Leary, 2001).

Additional research on university students shows that people may exaggerate or even fabricate reports of psychological distress when doing so selves their social goals.

Hypochondria appears to have self-presentational features where people convey impressions of illness and injury when doing so helps to drive desired outcomes such as eliciting support or avoiding responsibilities (Leary, 2001).

People can also engage in dangerous behaviors for self-presentation reasons such as suntanning, unsafe sex, and fast driving. People may also refuse needed medical treatment if seeking this medical treatment compromises public image (Leary et al., 1994).

Key Components

There are several determinants of impression management, and people have many reasons to monitor and regulate how others perceive them.

For example, social relationships such as friendship, group membership, romantic relationships, desirable jobs, status, and influence rely partly on other people perceiving the individual as being a particular kind of person or having certain traits.

Because people’s goals depend on them making desired impressions over undesired impressions, people are concerned with the impressions other people form of them.

Although people appear to monitor how they come across ongoingly, the degree to which they are motivated to impression manage and the types of impressions they try to foster varies by situations and individuals (Leary, 2001).

Leary and Kowalski (1990) say that there are two processes that constitute impression management, each of which operate according to different principles and are affected by different situations and dispositional aspects. The first of these processes is impression motivation, and the second is impression construction.

Impression Motivation

There are three main factors that affect how much people are motivated to impression-manage in a situation (Leary and Kowalski, 1990):

(1) How much people believe their public images are relevant to them attaining their desired goals.

When people believe that their public image is relevant to them achieving their goals, they are generally more motivated to control how others perceive them (Leary, 2001).

Conversely, when the impressions of other people have few implications on one’s outcomes, that person’s motivation to impression-manage will be lower.

This is why people are more likely to impression manage in their interactions with powerful, high-status people than those who are less powerful and have lower status (Leary, 2001).

(2) How valuable the goals are: people are also more likely to impress and manage the more valuable the goals for which their public impressions are relevant (Leary, 2001).

(3) how much of a discrepancy there is between how they want to be perceived and how they believe others perceive them..

people are more highly motivated to impression-manage when there is a difference between how they want to be perceived and how they believe others perceive them.

For example, public scandals and embarrassing events that convey undesirable impressions can cause people to make self-presentational efforts to repair what they see as their damaged reputations (Leary, 2001).

Impression Construction

Features of the social situations that people find themselves in as well as their own personalities, determine the nature of the impressions that they try to convey.

In particular, Leary and Kowalski (1990) name five sets of factors that are especially important in impression construction (Leary, 2001).

Two of these factors include how people’s relationships with themselves (self-concept and desired identity), and three involve how people relate to others (role constraints, target value, and current or potential social image) (Leary and Kowalski, 1990).


The impressions that people try to create are influenced not only by social context but also one’s own self-concept .

People usually want others to see them as “how they really are” (Leary, 2001), but this is in tension with the fact that people must deliberately manage their impressions in order to be viewed accurately by others (Goffman, 1959).

People’s self-concepts can also constrain the images they try to convey.

People often believe that it is unethical to present impressions of themselves different from how they really are and generally doubt that they would successfully be able to sustain a public image inconsistent with their actual characteristics (Leary, 2001).

This risk of failure in portraying a deceptive image and the accompanying social sanctions deter people from presenting impressions discrepant from how they see themselves (Gergen, 1968; Jones and Pittman, 1982; Schlenker, 1980).

People can differ in how congruent their self-presentations are with their self-perceptions.

People who are high in public self-consciousness have less congruency between their private and public selves than those lower in public self-consciousness (Tunnell, 1984; Leary and Kowalski, 1990).

Desired identity

People’s desired and undesired selves – how they wish to be and not be on an internal level – also influence the images that they try to project.

Schlenker (1985) defines a desirable identity image as what a person “would like to be and thinks he or she really can be, at least at his or her best.”

People have a tendency to manage their impressions so that their images coincide with their desired selves and stay away from images that coincide with their undesired selves (Ogilivie, 1987; Schlenker, 1985; Leary, 2001).

This happens by people publicly claiming attributes consistent with their desired identity and openly rejecting identities that they do not want to be associated with.

For example, someone who abhors bigots may take every step possible to not appear bitgoted and Gergen and Taylor (1969) showed that high-status navel cadets did not conform to low-status navel cadets because they did not want to see themselves as conformists (Leary and Kowalski, 1990).

Target value

people tailor their self-presentations to the values of the individuals whose perceptions they are concerned with.

This may lead to people sometimes fabricating identities that they think others will value.

However, more commonly, people selectively present truthful aspects of themselves that they believe coincide with the values of the person they are targeting the impression to and withhold information that they think others will value negatively (Leary, 2001).

Role constraints

the content of people’s self-presentations is affected by the roles that they take on and the norms of their social context.

In general, people want to convey impressions consistent with their roles and norms .

Many roles even carry self-presentational requirements around the kinds of impressions that the people who hold the roles should and should not convey (Leary, 2001).

Current or potential social image

People’s public image choices are also influenced by how they think they are perceived by others. As in impression motivation, self-presentational behaviors can often be aimed at dispelling undesired impressions that others hold about an individual.

When people believe that others have or are likely to develop an undesirable impression of them, they will typically try to refute that negative impression by showing that they are different from how others believe them to be.

When they are not able to refute this negative impression, they may project desirable impressions in other aspects of their identity (Leary, 2001).


In the presence of others, few of the behaviors that people make are unaffected by their desire to maintain certain impressions. Even when not explicitly trying to create a particular impression of themselves, people are constrained by concerns about their public images.

Generally this manifests with people trying not to create undesired impressions in virtually all areas of social life (Leary, 2001).

Tedeschi et al. (1971) argued that phenomena that psychologists previously attributed to peoples’ need to have cognitive consistency actually reflected efforts to maintain an impression of consistency in others eyes.

Studies have supported Tedeschi and their colleagues’ suggestion that phenomena previously attributed to cognitive dissonance were actually affected by self-presentational processes (Schlenker, 1980).

Psychologists have applied self-presentation to their study of phenomena as far-ranging as conformity, aggression, prosocial behavior, leadership, negotiation, social influence, gender, stigmatization, and close relationships (Baumeister, 1982; Leary, 1995; Schlenker, 1980; Tedeschi, 1981).

Each of these studies shows that people’s efforts to make impressions on others affect these phenomena; and, ultimately, that concerns around self-presentation private social life.

For example, research shows that people are more likely to be pro-socially helpful when their helpfulness is publicized, and behave more prosocially when they desire to repair a damaged social image by being helpful (Leary, 2001).

In a similar vein, many instances of aggressive behavior can be explained as self-presentational efforts to show that someone is willing to hurt others in order to get their way.

This can go as far as gender roles, for which evidence shows that men and women behave differently due to the kind of impressions that are socially expected of men and women.

Baumeister, R. F. (1982). A self-presentational view of social phenomena. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 3-26.

Braginsky, B. M., Braginsky, D. D., & Ring, K. (1969). Methods of madness: The mental hospital as a last resort. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Buss, A. H., & Briggs, S. (1984). Drama and the self in social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1310-1324. Gergen, K. J. (1968). Personal consistency and the presentation of self. In C. Gordon & K. J. Gergen (Eds.), The self in social interaction (Vol. 1, pp. 299-308). New York: Wiley.

Gergen, K. J., & Taylor, M. G. (1969). Social expectancy and self-presentation in a status hierarchy. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 5, 79-92.

Goffman, E. (1959). The moral career of the mental patient. Psychiatry, 22(2), 123-142.

Goffman, E. (1963). Embarrassment and social organization.

Goffman, E. (1978). The presentation of self in everyday life (Vol. 21). London: Harmondsworth.

Goffman, E. (2002). The presentation of self in everyday life. 1959. Garden City, NY, 259.

Martey, R. M., & Consalvo, M. (2011). Performing the looking-glass self: Avatar appearance and group identity in Second Life. Popular Communication, 9 (3), 165-180.

Jones E E (1964) Ingratiation. Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York.

Jones, E. E., & Pittman, T. S. (1982). Toward a general theory of strategic self-presentation. Psychological perspectives on the self, 1(1), 231-262.

Leary M R (1995) Self-presentation: Impression Management and Interpersonal Behaior. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.

Leary, M. R.. Impression Management, Psychology of, in Smelser, N. J., & Baltes, P. B. (Eds.). (2001). International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (Vol. 11). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Leary, M. R., & Kowalski, R. M. (1990). Impression management: A literature review and two-component model. Psychological bulletin, 107(1), 34.

Leary M R, Tchvidjian L R, Kraxberger B E 1994 Self-presentation may be hazardous to your health. Health Psychology 13: 461–70.

Ogilvie, D. M. (1987). The undesired self: A neglected variable in personality research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 379-385.

Schlenker, B. R. (1980). Impression management (Vol. 222). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Schlenker, B. R. (1985). Identity and self-identification. In B. R. Schlenker (Ed.), The self and social life (pp. 65-99). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Schlenker, B. R., & Leary, M. R. (1982). Social anxiety and self-presentation: A conceptualization model. Psychological bulletin, 92(3), 641.

Tedeschi, J. T, Smith, R. B., Ill, & Brown, R. C., Jr. (1974). A reinterpretation of research on aggression. Psychological Bulletin, 81, 540- 563.

Tseëlon, E. (1992). Is the presented self sincere? Goffman, impression management and the postmodern self. Theory, culture & society, 9(2), 115-128.

Tunnell, G. (1984). The discrepancy between private and public selves: Public self-consciousness and its correlates. Journal of Personality Assessment, 48, 549-555.

Further Information

Solomon, J. F., Solomon, A., Joseph, N. L., & Norton, S. D. (2013). Impression management, myth creation and fabrication in private social and environmental reporting: Insights from Erving Goffman. Accounting, organizations and society, 38(3), 195-213.

Gardner, W. L., & Martinko, M. J. (1988). Impression management in organizations. Journal of management, 14(2), 321-338.

Scheff, T. J. (2005). Looking‐Glass self: Goffman as symbolic interactionist. Symbolic interaction, 28(2), 147-166.

What Is Self-Awareness?

Development, Types, and How to Improve

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

self presentation what does it mean

Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.

self presentation what does it mean


Self-awareness is your ability to perceive and understand the things that make you who you are as an individual, including your personality, actions, values, beliefs, emotions, and thoughts. Essentially, it is a psychological state in which the self becomes the focus of  attention .

While self-awareness is central to who you are, it is not something you are acutely focused on at every moment of every day. Instead, self-awareness becomes woven into the fabric of who you are and emerges at different points depending on the situation and your personality .​

It is one of the first components of the  self-concept  to emerge. People are not born completely self-aware. Yet evidence suggests that infants do have a rudimentary sense of self-awareness.

Infants possess the awareness that they are a separate being from others, which is evidenced by behaviors such as the rooting reflex in which an infant searches for a nipple when something brushes against his or her face. Researchers have also found that even newborns are able to differentiate between self- and non-self touch.

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Self-Awareness Development

Studies have demonstrated that a more complex sense of self-awareness emerges around one year of age and becomes much more developed by approximately 18 months of age. Researchers Lewis and Brooks-Gunn performed studies looking at how self-awareness develops.

The researchers applied a red dot to an infant's nose and then held the child up to a mirror. Children who recognized themselves in the mirror would reach for their own noses rather than the reflection in the mirror, which indicated that they had at least some level of self-awareness.

Lewis and Brooks-Gunn found that almost no children under one year of age would reach for their own nose rather than the reflection in the mirror.

About 25% of the infants between 15 and 18 months reached for their own noses while about 70% of those between 21 and 24 months did so.

It is important to note that the Lewis and Brooks-Gunn study only indicates an infant's visual self-awareness; children might actually possess other forms of self-awareness even at this early point in life. For example, researchers Lewis, Sullivan, Stanger, and Weiss suggested that  expressing emotions  involves self-awareness as well as an ability to think about oneself in relation to other people.

Researchers have proposed that an area of the brain known as the anterior cingulate cortex located in the frontal lobe region plays an important role in developing self-awareness. Studies have also used brain imaging to show that this region becomes activated in adults who are self-aware.

The Lewis and Brooks-Gunn experiment suggests that self-awareness begins to emerge in children around the age of 18 months, an age that coincides with the rapid growth of spindle cells in the anterior cingulate cortex.

However, one study found that a patient retained self-awareness even with extensive damage to areas of the brain including the insula and the anterior cingulate cortex.

This suggests that these areas of the brain are not required for most aspects of self-awareness and that awareness may instead arise from interactions distributed among brain networks.

Levels of Self-Awareness

So how exactly do children become aware of themselves as separate beings? One major theory of self-awareness, developed by Philippe Rochat, PhD, suggests that there are five levels of self-awareness. Children progress through these stages between birth and approximately age 4 or 5:

Types of Self-Awareness

Psychologists often break self-awareness down into two different types, either public or private.

Public Self-Awareness

This type emerges when people are aware of how they appear to others. Public self-awareness often emerges in situations when people are at the center of attention.

This type of self-awareness often compels people to adhere to social norms . When we are aware that we are being watched and evaluated, we often try to behave in ways that are socially acceptable and desirable.

Public self-awareness can also lead to evaluation anxiety in which people become distressed, anxious, or worried about how they are perceived by others.

Public Self-Awareness Examples

You may experience public self-awareness in the workplace, when you're giving a big presentation. Or, you may experience it when telling a story to a group of friends.

Private Self-Awareness

This type happens when people become aware of some aspects of themselves, but only in a private way. For example, seeing your face in the mirror is a type of private self-awareness.

Private Self-Awareness Examples

Feeling your stomach lurch when you realize you forgot to study for an important test or feeling your heart flutter when you see someone you are attracted to are also examples of private self-awareness.

How to Improve Your Self-Awareness

So how do you grow self-awareness? There are many ways you can practice being present with yourself and your emotions, which, in turn, can help improve your self-awareness.

Meditation can be an especially useful practice because you don't have to worry about changing anything—simply noticing what happens during a meditation can bring greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings.

Maybe you notice that you hold tension in your body by clenching your jaw, for instance, or that you tend to worry so much about the future that it's hard to be in the present moment. This is all valuable information that can help you get to know yourself and your tendencies.

Journaling is a practice in self-reflection that can help you notice the ways in which you tend to think and behave, and even which areas in your life you may wish to improve. It can be a therapeutic way to gain insight into your life events and relationships.

Talk Therapy

During therapy—such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—a therapist works with you to address negative thought patterns or behaviors.

By understanding the underlying cause of your negative thoughts, for instance, you're in a more advantageous position to change them and use healthy coping mechanisms instead.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence (EQ) go hand in hand. EQ refers to a person's ability to perceive their own emotions as well as the emotions of other people. Someone with a high EQ is able to effectively respond to emotions with empathy and compassion.

Of course, no one is perfect, and EQ is a skill like any other. But by learning to express your own emotions in a healthy way, and practicing active listening in your relationships, you're contributing to the expansion of your own self-awareness as well.

Sometimes, people can become overly self-aware and veer into what is known as self-consciousness. Have you ever felt like everyone was watching you, judging your actions, and waiting to see what you will do next? This heightened state of self-awareness can leave you feeling awkward and nervous in some instances.

In a lot of cases, these feelings of self-consciousness are only temporary and arise in situations when we are "in the spotlight." For some people, however, excessive self-consciousness can reflect a chronic condition such as social anxiety disorder .

While self-awareness plays a critical role in how we understand ourselves and how we relate to others and the world, excessive self-consciousness can result in challenges such as anxiety and stress .

If you struggle with self-consciousness, discuss your symptoms with a doctor or mental health professional to learn more about what you can do to cope with these feelings.

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Brooks-Gunn J, Lewis M. The development of early visual self-recognition . Dev Review . 1984;4(3):215-39. doi:10.1016/S0273-2297(84)80006-4

Moeller SJ, Goldstein RZ. Impaired self-awareness in human addiction: deficient attribution of personal relevance . Trends Cogn Sci (Regul Ed). 2014;18(12):635-41. PMID: 25278368

Philippi CL, Feinstein JS, Khalsa SS, et al. Preserved self-awareness following extensive bilateral brain damage to the insula, anterior cingulate, and medial prefrontal cortices . PLoS ONE. 2012;7(8):e38413. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038413

Sutton A. Measuring the effects of self-awareness: Construction of the self-awareness outcomes questionnaire .  Eur J Psychol . 2016;12(4):645-658. doi:10.5964/ejop.v12i4.1178

Xiao Q, Yue C, He W, Yu JY. The mindful self: A mindfulness-enlightened self-view .  Front Psychol . 2017;8:1752. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01752

Snyder, M. Journaling. R. Lindquist, M. Snyder, & M. F. Tracy (Eds.). In:  Complementary and alternative therapies in nursing . Springer Publishing Company; 2014.

Nakao M, Shirotsuki K, Sugaya N. Cognitive–behavioral therapy for management of mental health and stress-related disorders: Recent advances in techniques and technologies . BioPsychoSocial Med. 2021;15(1). doi:10.1186/s13030-021-00219-w

Serrat O. Understanding and developing emotional intelligence . Knowledge Solutions. 2017:329-339. doi:10.1007/978-981-10-0983-9_37

Dasilveira A, Desouza ML, Gomes WB. Self-consciousness concept and assessment in self-report measures . Front Psychol . 2015;6:930. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00930

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By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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Self-Love and What It Means

Happy woman practicing self love and self care

What is self-love? 

Before a person is able to practice it, first we need to understand what it means.

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.

Self-love can mean something different for each person because we all have many different ways to take care of ourselves. Figuring out what self-love looks like for you as an individual is an important part of your mental health.

What does self-love mean to you?

For starters, it can mean:

For many people, self-love is another way to say self-care. To practice self-care, we often need to go back to the basics and

Self-love means accepting yourself as you are in this very moment for everything that you are. It means accepting your emotions for what they are and putting your physical, emotional and mental well-being first.

How and Why to Practice Self Love

So now we know that self-love motivates you to make healthy choices in life. When you hold yourself in high esteem, you're more likely to choose things that nurture your well-being and serve you well. These things may be in the form of eating healthy , exercising or having healthy relationships .

Ways to practice self-love include:

Finally, to practice self-love, start by being kind, patient, gentle and compassionate to yourself, the way you would with someone else that you care about.

- Written by  Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D. , President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation. This blog post also appears on the  Gravity Blankets Blog .

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What Is Self-Reflection And Why Is It So Important?

face of woman reflected in water illustrating the concept of self-reflection

Self-reflection is the gateway to freedom. – Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche

You probably look in a mirror most days and are as familiar with your appearance as almost any other sight.

But how often do you look inward to become more familiar with your inner self?

That is the crux of self-reflection: to know your inner workings as well as you know your outer form.

Self-reflection is a process by which you grow your understanding of who you are, what your values are, and why you think and act the way you do.

It is a form of personal analysis that allows you to bring your life into alignment with what you wish it to be.

Let’s explore this important tool further, starting with why you should do it.

The Importance Of Self-Reflection

The journey into self-love and self-acceptance must begin with self-examination. Until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life. – Iyanla Vanzant

Self-reflection – also called introspection – is a means to observe and analyze oneself in order to grow as a person.

That growth is the reason why it is so important to spend time in personal reflection.

By understanding who you are now and who you’d like to become, you help identify the steps you need to take on that journey.

Reflecting upon how you behave and what thoughts enter your mind in response to events in the world around you allows you to see what you need to work on.

Perhaps you were a little short and irritable with a work colleague.

By looking back on that, you might realize that this is not how you would wish to be treated and, thus, not how you wish to treat others.

You can then seek to address that behavior in future and perhaps apologize to your colleague if you were particularly rude or unkind.

This might lead to an improved working relationship with this person and a more enjoyable work day overall.

To highlight the importance or self-reflection, you only need to consider the alternative.

If you can’t identify where you might have acted in a regrettable manner, you will most likely act that way again.

In our example, this only prolongs the ill-feeling you might experience as a result of workplace tensions and the potential negative ramifications of that in the long run.

Time spent in personal reflection is also an opportunity to measure your progress in a positive way.

You can identify moments where you have responded to a situation with healthier thoughts and behaviors.

It can provide you with a sense of achievement and keep you motivated in your quest to better yourself – however that looks to you.

Essentially, then, self-reflection is a way to make lots of small course corrections away from less desirable thoughts and behaviors toward those that promote greater well-being.

The Benefits Of Self-Reflection

Now that we’ve seen why it is so important to reflect upon your thoughts and actions, what are the potential practical benefits of doing so?

Improved Relationships

As in our workplace example above, by reflecting on how you treat others and the thoughts you may have about them, you can make changes that lead to more harmonious relationships.

If there are difficulties in a relationship – be that romantic or platonic – you can assess the situation, ask what role you are playing in those difficulties, and find ways to overcome them.

Self-reflection gives you the chance to see how you truly feel about the other person and consider the value that the relationship brings.

This can make you more appreciative of that person which then influences how you interact with them.

Greater Clarity Of Thought

Introspection provides an opportunity to think about something in isolation from the thing itself.

Instead of your mind being clouded by the emotions you experience when interacting with the thing in question, you can view it in a more rational sense.

You can see it with more clarity and think about it from a rounded perspective with pros, cons, and other important details that help you make a reasoned conclusion about how you wish to change with regards to it (or if you actually don’t want to change at all).

Perhaps, for example, that thing is a choice such as the job you take. If you dislike the long commute in your current position, you might not be able to see the benefits it brings during the commute itself.

But by stepping back and thinking about it on a day off, you might realize that despite not being all that enjoyable, the pros of a job you are passionate about or the wages you receive from it make the commute worthwhile on balance.

It may even change how you feel about your commute or how you choose to spend that time.

Knowing Your True Values

You will find it hard to really know yourself until you have spent time thinking about what really matters to you.

When you reflect upon yourself, you might see things that you do or think that go against who you really wish to be.

You can consider the important issues that we face in life and form a solid position on them.

Sometimes, until you really sit and think about something, you cannot decide where you stand on it.

This can cover all sorts of moral issues such as the right to end one’s own life or the protection of the environment.

Or it can simply help you figure out the guiding principles that you would ideally like to live by.

Self-reflection is the means by which your moral compass can be formed and refined so that you are able to act true to it in all that you do.

It can help you feel less lost in life and more empowered to create a future that reflects your core beliefs

Improved Decision-Making

We make hundreds of choices every day, but most are insignificant and can be left to our unconscious mind .

But when it comes to the more important decisions in life, a little personal reflection is invaluable.

It comes back to having clarity of thought and awareness of your true values.

With these two things, you can make decisions that put you on the most optimal path to greater well-being.

This means fewer regrets or missed opportunities and more peace of mind knowing that you have made the right choice.

Better Sleep

When you spend a little time each day looking back upon events and how you responded to them, it can bring closure to any unresolved feelings.

This can help you to not only fall asleep quicker, but have a more restful nights’ sleep in general.

The only caveat to this is that you have to avoid allowing reflection to turn into rumination.

Think about your day, but then turn the page and allow your mind to start afresh the next day. Don’t get stuck on a thought for too long.

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Less Stress And Anxiety

One of the key outcomes of self-reflection and knowing yourself more intimately is that you become more confident in yourself and your actions.

You find more certainty in this uncertain world because you are grounded in your sense of self.

With greater certainty comes less stress and anxiety.

You worry less about the ‘what ifs’ and focus more on the things you can do to best align your actions with those guiding principles we spoke of above.

And you worry less about what other people might think about you and your choices because you know that you are doing what’s right for you.

How To Reflect Upon Yourself

Now that you know why it’s important to practice self-reflection and what benefits it might bring, let’s explore how you can actually go about it.

Find Quiet Solitude

To be able to think clearly, you should preferably be in a quiet and peaceful environment.

This means solitude, though not necessarily being totally alone in a physical sense, but rather a place where you won’t be disturbed by the people and things around you.

A comfortable place in the house such as a snug, a warm bath, or just lying on your bed is ideal, but you might also wish to sit in the garden or in a park if this helps inspire your thoughts.

‘Why’ is the first thing to think about.

Why do you act the way you act?

Why do you think the way you think?

This could be in relation to a specific event that day, or it could be a more general search for the reasons behind certain thoughts or behaviors that you have spotted as being a common occurrence.

Some ‘whys’ are easy to answer. You may have shouted at your child because you and your partner had argued shortly before.

Some ‘whys’ are harder to answer. Pinpointing the reasons why you feel so strongly for or against more stringent gun laws is not always straightforward.

Ask ‘What?’ ‘Where?’ And ‘Who?’

The next questions you will want to ask and answer after your initial ‘why’ are those that inform you of the way you would like to think or act going forward.

They revolve around these 3 core questions:

What would I have done differently?

Where do I want to get to?

Who do I want to be?

These are the foundation of the wider, more precise questions you will want to ask depending on what aspect of yourself you are reflecting upon.

Here are some examples:

– What should I have done when my boss criticized me in front of my peers?

– Where do I want to be in terms of my relationship in the next few years?

– Who do I look up to?

– What should my response be to a person who is treating me poorly because of my race?

– How many hours do I want to work? (this is a ‘where’ question even though it begins with ‘how.’)

– Does my current diet reflect my views on animal cruelty? (this is a ‘who’ question)

Once you have identified something that you’d like to change, you’ve thought about why you currently do it, and you’ve considered an ideal end point, you have to ask how you’re going to get there.

What things do you either need to start doing or stop doing to reach the stage where your thoughts or behavior have changed in the way you would like?

In other words, what is the roadmap to get you from A (where you are now) to B (where you’d like to be)?

Give Yourself Time, But Know When To Stop

As mentioned above, the process of self-reflection can risk the less than healthy state of rumination or overthinking.

When we allow a thought to cycle through our minds again and again with no apparent way to resolve it, we lose all the benefits of inward reflection and can end up harming our mental well-being.

So it is key to set a limit on how long you sit in quiet contemplation.

You may wish to make this a particular amount of time, or you may simply say that it is time to stop when you get stuck on a train of thought.

And when the time has come to stop, the best thing to do is move somewhere else entirely.

That’s why it is not typically a good idea to self-reflect in bed before sleep.

By all means lie on a bed, but do it well before the end of your day or at any other time where sleep is not on the horizon.

To break away from inward reflection, try to immerse yourself and your focus on something other than the things you were reflecting on.

Anything that can distract your mind away from what you were thinking about.

Consider Writing Your Thoughts Down

Some people might find it useful to make notes of their thoughts as they are reflecting on themselves.

Writing in a journal is a popular way to do this as it keeps everything in one place and allows you to look back on what you’ve thought previously to keep you on the right path.

This can also be helpful if you find it difficult to get off a particular thought. Once it is written down and safely stored, you might find that the mind can let go of it more easily without the threat of forgetting it.

Speak To A Therapist

Whilst most people probably don’t need to take this step, others might find that talking things out with a therapist is the most effective means of organizing their thoughts and feelings.

As a qualified professional, a therapist can help guide your thought process toward the most important elements of your life and the issues you may be facing.

They can also help you to think about the steps you might need to take to make the positive changes you wish to make.

You may find that talking to somebody else rather than going it alone takes a weight off your mind and helps you to be consistent in your self-reflection efforts.

What If I Don’t Enjoy It?

A healthy level of self-reflection typically empowers and energizes an individual as they see ways to improve upon themselves.

But this won’t be the case for everyone.

If you are really struggling to get to grips with the process or find that it is raising some difficult issues from the past, your best bet is probably to speak to a therapist.

You have not failed if you have to ask for help . You have succeeded in realizing that you needed to.

A man must find time for himself. Time is what we spend our lives with. If we are not careful we find others spending it for us. It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, “Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?” If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one’s time – the stuff of life. – Carl Sandburg

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The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life is a book that was published in the U.S. in 1959, written by sociologist  Erving Goffman . In it, Goffman uses the imagery of theater in order to portray the nuances and significance of face-to-face social interaction. Goffman puts forth a theory of social interaction that he refers to as the dramaturgical model of social life.

According to Goffman, social interaction may be likened to a theater, and people in everyday life to actors on a stage, each playing a variety of roles. The audience consists of other individuals who observe the role-playing and react to the performances. In social interaction, like in theatrical performances, there is a 'front stage' region where the actors are on stage  before an audience, and their consciousness of that audience and the audience's expectations for the role they should play influence the actor's behavior. There is also a back region, or 'backstage,' where individuals can relax, be themselves, and the role or identity that they play when they are in front of others.

Central to the book and Goffman's theory is the idea that people, as they interact together in social settings, are constantly engaged in the process of "impression management," wherein each tries to present themselves and behave in a way that will prevent the embarrassment of themselves or others. This is primarily done by each person that is part of the interaction working to ensure that all parties have the same "definition of the situation," meaning that all understand what is meant to happen in that situation, what to expect from the others involved, and thus how they themselves should behave.

Though written over half a century ago,  The Presentation of Self in Everday Life  remains one of the most famous and widely taught sociology books, which was listed as the 10th most important sociology book of the twentieth century by the International Sociological Association in 1998.


Goffman uses the term ‘performance’ to refer to all the activity of an individual in front of a particular set of observers, or audience. Through this performance, the individual, or actor, gives meaning to themselves, to others, and to their situation. These performances deliver impressions to others, which communicates information that confirms the identity of the actor in that situation. The actor may or may not be aware of their performance or have an objective for their performance, however, the audience is constantly attributing meaning to it and to the actor.

The setting for the performance includes the scenery, props, and location in which the interaction takes place. Different settings will have different audiences and will thus require the actor to alter his performances for each setting.

Appearance functions to portray to the audience the performer’s social statuses. Appearance also tells us of the individual’s temporary social state or role, for example, whether he is engaging in work (by wearing a uniform), informal recreation, or a formal social activity. Here, dress and props serve to communicate things that have socially ascribed meaning, like gender , status, occupation, age, and personal commitments.

Manner refers to how the individual plays the role and functions to warn the audience of how the performer will act or seek to act in a role (for example, dominant, aggressive, receptive, etc.). Inconsistency and contradiction between appearance and manner may occur and will confuse and upset an audience. This can happen, for example, when one does not present himself or behave in accordance with his perceived social status or position.

The actor’s front, as labeled by Goffman, is the part of the individual’s performance which functions to define the situation for the audience. It is the image or impression he or she gives off to the audience. A social front can also be thought of like a script. Certain social scripts tend to become institutionalized in terms of the stereotyped expectations it contains. Certain situations or scenarios have social scripts that suggest how the actor should behave or interact in that situation. If the individual takes on a task or role that is new to him, he or she may find that there are already several well-established fronts among which he must choose. According to Goffman, when a task is given a new front or script, we rarely find that the script itself is completely new. Individuals commonly use pre-established scripts to follow for new situations, even if it is not completely appropriate or desired for that situation.

Front Stage, Back Stage, and Off Stage

In stage drama, as in everyday interactions, according to Goffman, there are three regions, each with different effects on an individual’s performance: front stage, backstage, and off-stage. The front stage is where the actor formally performs and adheres to conventions that have particular meaning for the audience. The actor knows he or she is being watched and acts accordingly.

When in the backstage region, the actor may behave differently than when in front of the audience on the front stage. This is where the individual truly gets to be herself and get rid of the roles that she plays when she is in front of other people.

Finally, the off-stage region is where individual actors meet the audience members independently of the team performance on the front stage. Specific performances may be given when the audience is segmented as such.

self presentation what does it mean

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The Psychology of Social Media: Why We Like, Comment, and Share Online

Courtney Seiter

What would happen if you were to “like” everything you saw on social media?

The developer Rameet Chawla found out when he built a script that liked every photo that passed through his Instagram feed.

The likes, comments and posts we share on social media can often seem inconsequential, but they matter. They tap into some of the very elements that make us human, our addictions, desires, anxieties and joys.

What if we could understand the psychology of social media and use that knowledge to bring customers closer, give them more of what they want, and create better relationships?

I had the supreme privilege of talking about just that topic at Mozcon , a super fun and crazy informative marketing conference put on by our friends at Moz . I’m excited to share the highlights with you!

The Psychology of Social Media: Why We Like, Comment, and Share Online

How to listen : iTunes | Google Play  | SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

Social media biology: Dopamine and oxytocin

The pull of social media addiction isn’t all in our heads. It’s quite real, thanks to two chemicals our brains produce: dopamine and oxytocin.

PSM Mozcon.006

Scientists used to think dopamine was a pleasure chemical in the brain, but now we know what it actually creates is want . Dopamine causes us to seek, desire, and search.

Dopamine is stimulated by unpredictability, by small bits of information, and by reward cues—pretty much the exact conditions of social media.

The pull of dopamine is so strong that studies have shown tweeting is harder for people to resist than cigarettes and alcohol.

PSM Mozcon.008

Then there’s oxytocin, sometimes referred to as “the cuddle chemical” because it’s released when you kiss or hug.

Or … tweet. In 10 minutes of social media time, oxytocin levels can rise as much as 13% —a hormonal spike equivalent to some people on their wedding day.

And all the goodwill that comes with oxytocin—lowered stress levels, feelings of love, trust, empathy, generosity—comes with social media, too.

As a result, social media users have shown to be more trusting than the average Internet user. The typical Facebook user is 43% more likely than other Internet users to feel that most people can be trusted.

So between dopamine and oxytocin, social networking not only comes with a lot of great feelings, it’s also really hard to stop wanting more of it.

Social media actions: Why we post, share, like and comment

Next, let’s look at some of the major activities we do online and find out what psychological strings are being pulled with each of them.

Why we post on social media

why we post

It’s not news that we love to talk about ourselves.

Humans devote about 30–40% of all speech to talking about themselves . But online that number jumps to about 80% of social media posts. That’s a huge jump!

Why? Talking face-to-face is messy and emotionally involved–we don’t have time to think about what to say, we have to read facial cues and body language.

Online, we have time to construct and refine. This is what psychologists call self-presentation: positioning yourself the way you want to be seen.

The feeling we get from self-presentation is so strong that viewing your own Facebook profile has been shown to increase your self-esteem.

What’s also interesting for marketers is that the most prominent way we tend to work on self- presentation is through things— buying things and acquiring things that signify who we are.

things to identify ourselves

Think: Clothes, games, music, the logo on your laptop right now.

The intensity of emotion people can feel for their favorite brands as a result of this is incredible. An experiment showed volunteers two types of photos : the logo for a brand they loved and pictures of their partners and closest friends.

Their physiological arousal to the logo was as intense as the arousal of looking at a picture of their closest friend.

Things—and by extension, brands—are a huge part of who we are.

What I take away from this is to work really hard to figure out what is aspirational about my brand that my customers can identify with.

Brands that can create aspirational ways for their community to interact with them not only create social media opportunities but also the chance to move beyond likes into something lasting.

Why we share on social media

why we share

If we like talking about ourselves so much, what would make us share something of someone else’s?

Passing information on is an impulse that we’re hard-wired with. Just the thought of sharing activates our brain’s reward centers, even before we’ve done a thing.

Self-presentation, strengthening relationships

First, it comes back to our own self image: 68% of people say they share to give others a better sense of who they are and what they care about.

But the biggest reason we share is about other people: 78% of people say they share because it helps them to stay connected to people.

strengthen relationships

Experiments have shown that the best predictors of contagious ideas in the brain are associated with the parts that focus on thoughts about other people.

This means content designed for social media doesn’t need to appeal to a large group or an average group. it just needs to appeal to a specific person.

Social currency

And when we share the right type of content, we gain social currency—our stock goes up. 62% of people say they feel better about themselves when people react positively to what they post on social media.

social currency

How can brands create social media currency? By having something interesting to say.

Jeff Goins wrote on our blog about this little-known research paper from the 1970s that attempts to create a unified theory of what makes something interesting.

The author, Murray Davis, says all interesting content is “an attack on the taken-for-granted world of their audience.”

attack the taken for granted

Like “the dress,” things that are interesting deny our assumptions in some way; they shake us up.

Why we like on social media

why we like

Facebook, with more than 2 billion monthly active users is a great example of a platform where people love to like. In fact, since Facebook implemented the “ Like ” button, it has been used more than 1.13 trillion times, with that number growing by the day.

We do this because we want to maintain relationships. When we favorite and like each other’s posts, we add value to the relationship, and reinforce that closeness.

We also create a reciprocity effect. We feel obliged to give back to people who have given to us, even in a small way. We want to even up the scales.


A sociologist sent Christmas cards to 600 random strangers and received 200 in return. That’s the power of reciprocity.

You see reciprocity on Instagram as well, where receiving a tag or direct message makes you feel compelled to send one back. And anytime you receive a like on your profile , you’ll probably feel a little pull to reciprocate in some way, whether it’s by sharing something in return, signing up for an email list, etc.

Why we comment

why we comment

Most marketers tend to think conversations with customers are hugely important. That engagement—interacting as much as possible—is what builds long-term advocacy.

So it’s surprising to find that customers don’t feel the same way. A survey of more than 7,000 consumers found that only 23% said they have a relationship with a brand. Of those who did, only 13% cited frequent interactions with the brand as a reason for having a relationship.

Consumers said shared values were a much bigger driver for a relationship than lots of interaction with a brand.

This is not to say that comments aren’t powerful. In fact, they can be incredibly so—there’s a phenomenon known as shared reality that says our whole experience of something is affected by if and how we share it with others.

85% of us say reading other people’s responses on a topic helps us understand and process information and events.

process information

This means comments actually have the power to change our minds, and science backs this up.

Basically, any comment about you, anywhere online, is to a consumer a reflection of what kind of company you are. It’s not exactly logical, but that’s how our brains work.


This means being actively engaged in the comments section of your blog and with the customer reviews of your product is crucial, not so much to the person you’re responding to but for everyone participating in the shared reality of comments and reviews.

Social media phenomena: Selfies, emoji and nostalgia

So far we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s interesting and unique about social media. Let’s dive deeper into a few intriguing phenomenon for marketers.


Selfie craze


Historically, portraits have been about status, and controlling the way our image is perceived.

Today, they’re a way to figure out who we are. The “looking-glass self” is a psychological concept that says that we can never truly see ourselves—we need our reflection from others in order to understand who we are.

looking glass self

Selfies also work because we pay more attention to faces than we do to anything else .

Viewing faces can also create empathy . An experiment added headshots of patients into doctors’ files, and found that seeing photos of patients improved the way they treated patients.

For brands, there are many ways to harness the power of selfies—we’ve got a full breakdown here !

Power of emoji on social media


Most of us are not aware of it, but we mimic each others expressions in face-to-face conversation. This is emotional contagion , and it’s a big part of how we build connectedness.

Online, we recreate that crucial element of empathy using emoticons and emoji.

Today, 92% of people in the U.S. regularly use stickers, emoticons or emojis in their online communication, and 10 billion emoji are sent around the world every day .

The most popular emoji: ?

And there is a strong link between emoji use and social media power .

social media power

There are plenty of fun ways to incorporate emoji into your marketing campaigns . Brands like Ikea, Coca-Cola, Burger King and Comedy Central have even created their own branded emoji for their fans to share.

Evan Wray at Swyft Media , which has worked on many of these branded emoji campaigns, says users see these in a really unique way–as self-expression, not advertising.

branded emojis

Social media nostalgia


Sometimes social media—and life—moves so fast that we want things to slow down.

This is where nostalgia comes in, and this longing for the past can be an amazing strategy for modern social media marketing.

Nostalgia is universal across all cultures and it gives us a sense of social connectedness, feelings of being loved and protected.

universal nostalgia

That feeling makes us think different about money. When people are asked to think about the past, they’re more likely to give money to others and they’re willing to pay more for products .

nostalgia and money

These days we’re speeding up nostalgia and creating a bigger and bigger appetite for it.

So you don’t have to have hundreds of years of history to use nostalgia in your marketing. All you need is a time period that your target market is going to feel nostalgic about.

Urban Outfitters is now selling vintage Lisa Frank stickers and notebooks from the ’80s and ’90s. (Yes, the ‘90s are vintage—that’s how fast nostalgia moves now.)

lisa frank

You can use Facebook insights, demographic and persona information to pick the period and then weave nostalgic references through your writing or social media posts.

Social media emoji: The dark and light sides

If we’re going to talk about the psychology of social media, we can’t ignore the studies about its negative effects. Some say it’s making us more lonely, more isolated, more depressed .

And the science behind this is very real—with the caveat that social media doesn’t change us itself; it’s just an extension of our human tendencies. It turns it up a little.

Like social comparison : we all have a tendency to assess our worth by comparing ourselves to others.

social comparison

This can lead to feelings of insecurity—especially on Facebook, where we go to share our happiest, braggiest news. We’re constantly comparing ourselves against a stream of new babies, engagements, new jobs.

This isn’t just a Facebook issue; it happens on Instagram, where Instagram envy runs rampant, and on Pinterest, where a survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers revealed that 42 percent have “Pinterest stress” —they worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough.

pinterest stress

But social media can also unite us. If you’ve ever shared about a loss or a personal challenge on social media, you may have experienced the resounding support that can come from friends and even those you might not expect.

Have you ever wondered why animals are so popular on social media?

An interviewer asked the Buzzfeed editors who work on these stories why animals go so viral, and they said it’s because these stories are often not really about animals at all. They often show humans at their best — rescuing, fostering, caring.

They said, “Our empathy for animals is us at our best.”

us at our best

Social media can gnaw at our insecurities and suck us in, but at its core, it’s about the good in the world: seeing it in ourselves, recognizing it in others, passing it on.

It allows us to get a little closer, a little more empathetic, a little nearer to who we truly want to be. Brands have the opportunity to connect with us if they’re willing to be human along with us – with all the messiness, anxieties and joys that comes with that.

Over to you!

I really enjoyed digging into the psychology of social media for Mozcon and for you here! I’d love to hear any thoughts this brings up for you in the comments. Meanwhile, you can check out the full presentation here:

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May we suggest

‘Who Am I?’ How to Find Your Sense of Self

self presentation what does it mean

Your sense of self refers to your perception of the collection of characteristics that define you.

Personality traits , abilities, likes and dislikes, your belief system or moral code, and the things that motivate you — these all contribute to self-image or your unique identity as a person.

People who can easily describe these aspects of their identity typically have a fairly strong sense of who they are. Struggling to name more than a few of these characteristics might point to a less defined sense of self.

You may not spend much time consciously thinking about your identity, but it still affects your life. Knowing who you are allows you to live with purpose and develop satisfying relationships , both of which can contribute to overall good emotional health.

Interested in exploring the benefits of a well-defined sense of self? Searching for tips on developing your identity? You’ve come to the right place.

Why it’s so important

Some people can make it pretty far in life without giving their identity too much though. So, you might wonder, does a strong sense of self really make a difference?

It absolutely does.

Erika Myers , a licensed professional counselor in Bend, Oregon, explains:

“Having a well-developed sense of self is hugely beneficial in helping us make choices in life . From something as small as favorite foods to larger concerns like personal values, knowing what comes from our own self versus what comes from others allows us to live authentically.”

Your self-image can also fuel recognition of your own worth. You aren’t perfect (who is?), but you still have great value.

Self-knowledge makes it easier to accept your entire self, both the traits you’re proud of and those you’d like to improve. If you do feel dissatisfied with certain aspects of yourself, you’ll have an easier time addressing those areas when you have a strong sense of your nature and abilities.

Lacking a clearly defined sense of self, on the other hand, often makes it tough to know exactly what you want. If you feel uncertain or indecisive when it comes time to make important choices, you may end up struggling to make any choice at all .

As a result, you might simply drift through life, carried by other people and circumstances rather than your own momentum. This often leads to discontent, even when nothing specific seems wrong and you can’t identify the source of your unhappiness.

Checking in with your sense of self

So, where does your sense of self fall on the spectrum?

Perhaps you’ve noticed a pattern of making choices based on what you think other people want from you. Or maybe you don’t have many ambitions or deep-seated passions and simply feel content to go with the flow.

Asking yourself the questions below can offer some insight.

Do I say yes to make others happy?

It’s totally fine to accommodate others sometimes, but if you always agree to what others want, you likely aren’t living for yourself. Defining yourself mostly by relationships with others or your ability to please your loved ones can suggest a less-developed sense of self.

What are my strengths?

Sense of self depends on not only recognizing your strengths but also believing in your capabilities to use them to achieve your goals.

Having a good handle on your talents and maximizing them in your day-to-day life often means you have a healthy sense of self.

What brings me happiness?

What helps you relax and enjoy yourself? What hobbies or activities make life meaningful?

Everyone has a few things and people in life they don’t want to change or lose, and identifying these important people and pursuits can tell you a lot about yourself.

What are my values? Do I live my life accordingly?

Awareness of personal values can go a long way toward outlining your sense of self. Values describe the traits you prioritize in yourself or others—empathy, honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, and so on.

Do my choices reflect my own interests or someone else’s?

If you aren’t sure how to answer this question, look at it from another angle: Would you make the same choices if you were alone? Decisions mostly grounded in your desires and goals for yourself typically reflect a strong sense of self.

Factors that can influence your sense of self

Say you had some trouble answering the questions above.

“Who am I, really ?” you might be wondering, perhaps with some distress.

It might reassure you to learn it’s not terribly uncommon to have a somewhat blurred sense of self. This doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong or that you’re destined to live out your life without a clear identity.

A better understanding of the factors that play a part in the formation of self-image can help you begin sharpening it.


Individuation, or the process through which you develop a unique self, begins in childhood. To individuate successfully, children need room to explore, learn, and express needs and desires.

“When we are encouraged to display our personalities without shame or guilt, we can develop a strong sense of ourselves,” Myers explains.

If your attempts at self-expression earn only criticism or punishment from parents, friends, or anyone else, you might respond by ignoring your internal sense of self. It may seem safer and more beneficial to reshape yourself into someone more easily accepted.

Your relationship with your parents or primary caregivers plays a significant role in your understanding of other relationships later in life. An insecure attachment can affect not only the development of your identity but your behavior in adult romantic relationships.

Attachment issues can be somewhat complex, but here’s a quick rundown on how they relate to sense of self.

When you don’t feel certain of your caregivers’ unconditional love and acceptance, you might tailor your behavior to earn their approval. The resulting praise and affection reinforce the belief that modeling yourself to fit the expectations of others is the best (perhaps only) way to succeed in relationships.

This pattern usually continues to play out in your future relationships as you stifle your own needs in order to fulfill the needs of your partners, seeing this as the only way to hold on to their affection.

A desire to fit in

If you struggled to fit in with your peers in adolescence, you may have found it easier to take on the role of a social chameleon. Instead of holding on to your sense of self, you began shifting your identity to better fit in with multiple groups.

Acceptance can be a powerful motivator. If this changeable sense of self served you well during your teen years, this lesson can remain with you well into adulthood.

You might take on a certain persona at work, another when with your family, and still another when you spend time with friends. Switching between these different “selves” can make it even more difficult to unearth your true nature and create stress for yourself.

Building a strong sense of self

An unstable sense of self can make you feel flat and unfulfilled, but it’s always possible to develop a clearer self-image.

Try these strategies to begin establishing a more concrete, independent identity.

Define your values

Values and personal beliefs are fundamental aspects of identity.

Your belief system can help you recognize what matters most to you and determine where you stand on important issues. For example, a desire to protect animal rights may lead you to choose cruelty-free products and make more informed choices about the foods you eat.

Values can help guide the boundaries you set with others in your life. If you value honesty , for example, you might make it clear you can’t maintain a relationship with someone who lies to you.

You don’t have to identify all your values at once, but try to think about some potential ones as you go about your day and interact with the world.

Make your own choices

Your decisions should, for the most part, primarily benefit your health and well-being. If you have a partner or children, you’ll also want to take their needs into account, though that shouldn’t involve neglecting yourself.

Remember: When your needs go unmet, you have less to offer others.

Maybe you’ve let others make important decisions for you in the past — your choice of college, career, or place of residence. If so, it might feel uncomfortable, even scary, to start making decisions for yourself.

It’s OK to start small, though. Practice doing things because you want to do them, without asking for input from others.

Keep in mind that seeking guidance from others doesn’t mean you lack a sense of self. It’s entirely healthy — even wise — to talk over difficult decisions with trusted loved ones. At the end of the day, it’s important to make the choice that’s best for you, regardless of their opinions.

Spend time alone

When you want to get to know someone , you spend time with them, right? It follows, then, that getting to know yourself better will involve some quality time alone.

It might feel strange at first, but it’s healthy to take some time apart from others, even your family or partner.

Use this time however you like. If you’d really like to maximize self-exploration, try:

Consider how to achieve your ideals

Older research suggests that differences between your ideal self (who you envision yourself as) and your actual self (who you really are) can contribute to feelings of dissatisfaction, even depression.

In other words, knowing who you are may not be enough, though it’s a very good start. Failing to honor this sense of self could have a negative impact on your emotional health.

Once you have a more firmly defined sense of self, consider what you can do to align your life with your identity. You might, for example, ask yourself what changes you can make in your professional life or interactions with others.

When to get help

It might feel pretty overwhelming to begin defining your sense of self, especially if you’ve never given your identity much thought.

If you feel stuck, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for guidance. A therapist can offer support with emotional distress that relates to your sense of self, such as:

Even if you don’t have any mental health symptoms, therapy is still a great place to begin the self-exploration process.

In therapy, you can:

The connection between mental health and an unstable sense of self goes both ways. Issues related to personal identity, such as an unclear, frequently changing, or distorted self-image, can sometimes happen as a symptom of:

These conditions can be serious, but they are treatable. A trained mental health professional can help you explore other symptoms and offer guidance on treatment options.

The bottom line

The concept of “self” isn’t always easy to grasp, in part because your identity naturally shifts and develops over life as you learn and grow.

It’s normal to have some moments of confusion or self-doubt. When you consistently feel unfulfilled or struggle to name your needs and desires, consider taking the time for a little self-discovery.

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

Last medically reviewed on June 17, 2020

How we reviewed this article:

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Personal Presentation

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Personal presentation is how you portray and present yourself to other people. It includes how you look, what you say, and what you do, and is all about marketing YOU, the brand that is you.

What others see and hear from you will influence their opinion of you. Good personal presentation is therefore about always showing yourself in the best possible light.

We all know that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Most of us are probably also aware that it takes quite a long time to undo that first impression—and that if it is negative, we may never get the chance to do so. This page explains some of the skills involved in making a good first impression—and then continuing to impress over time.

Understanding Personal Presentation

Personal presentation is about you and how you present yourself to others.

This includes both in everyday situations and when under pressure, for example, at job interviews. It is best thought of as a form of communication , because it always involves at least two people—the person presenting themselves (you) and the person seeing and hearing you.

Personal presentation covers what other people both see and hear. It includes how you look, what you say, and what you do. It therefore requires a wide range of skills, from improving your personal appearance to your communication skills.

However, all these aspects start from one place: you.

To present yourself well and confidently, you need to believe in yourself—or at least, be able to act as if you do.

Perception is Truth

People who present themselves as confident will be perceived as such by others.

There is also plenty of evidence that once we start acting as if we are confident, we generally feel more confident too.

Confidence—but not arrogance—is a very attractive trait. Having a justified belief in yourself and your abilities helps other people to be confident in you too.

Good personal presentation therefore requires good self-esteem and self-confidence. It means that you have to learn about yourself, and understand and accept who you are, both your positives and your negatives, and be comfortable with yourself. This does not, however, mean that you believe that there is nothing that you can improve—but that you are confident in your ability to achieve, and know how to overcome your flaws.

Paradoxically, therefore, personal presentation is actually not about being self-conscious or overly concerned with what others think about you. People who present themselves well generally do so because they believe in themselves, rather than because they are worried about what other people think. These concepts are closely related to Personal Empowerment .

A complete picture—and a cycle

Personal presentation is about conveying appropriate signals for the situation and for the other individuals involved.

People who lack self-esteem and confidence may fail to convey their message effectively or fully utilise their skills and abilities because of the way they present themselves. However, by improving your communication skills and reducing barriers to understanding, you may also improve your self-esteem and confidence.

Our pages: Communication Skills , Barriers to Communication and Improving Self-Esteem provide more information.

Areas of Personal Presentation

Improving personal presentation therefore requires a look at several different areas.

These include:

Self-esteem and self-confidence – how you feel about yourself and your abilities

Personal appearance – how you look, and how other people see you

Non-verbal communication – your body language, voice and facial expressions

Verbal communication – how you speak and use your words to make an impression

Behaviour – how you behave more generally, including politeness.

Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Self-esteem and self-confidence are closely related, but not quite the same thing.

Self-esteem is how you see and value yourself .

Self-confidence is believing in or having faith in your ability , rather than yourself as a person.

Neither self-esteem nor self-confidence are static. They vary as a result of numerous factors, including different situations and the presence of different people, personal stress levels and the level of change. Low levels of self-esteem are often associated with low levels of confidence, but those with good self-esteem can also suffer from low confidence.

To improve your self-esteem and self-confidence, spend time thinking about how you value yourself. Remind yourself of what is good about you, and learn to manage the highs and lows of self-esteem. In particular, try to avoid being affected too much by others’ opinions about you.

It is also worth practising coming across as confident even when you are not, because those who appear confident are not only perceived as confident, but often actually become more confident.

See our pages on Improving Self-Esteem and Building Confidence for more discussion, tips and advice on this area.

Personal Appearance and Non-Verbal Communication

Personal appearance is the way that you dress and take care of your general appearance.

Much as we may hate the idea that appearances matter, this is an important factor in personal presentation. Whether you like it or not, others will make judgements about you based on how you look, which includes how you dress and your accessories. It is therefore worth taking time to think about what messages you are sending to others in the way that you dress.

Case study: The ‘gravitas bag’

Louise was a young graduate, working in government department. She had been working there about two years, and had just started working for a new boss, a woman just a few years older than her.

One day, on the way to an important meeting, Louise’s carrier bag, in which she was carrying her notebook and pens, broke on the bus. Her boss laughed, but said to her, carefully,

“ You know, you ought to think a bit about how what you wear and carry affects what people think about you. I’m not sure it gives quite the right impression to wander into a meeting with pens and books spilling out of a split carrier bag—that’s why I keep a briefcase in my cupboard for the days when I’ve worn a backpack into work. This may sound stupid, but I always feel that people may be judging me because I’m both female and quite young. I don’t want to give them any reason to doubt my professionalism. ”

Neither did Louise. The next weekend, she went shopping. On the Monday, she proudly showed her boss a new handbag and matching briefcase—her ‘gravitas bag’, as she described it.

Your personal appearance is closely related to the body language, gestures and other non-verbal messages that you use.

Many people are unaware of how they are affected by body language, and also how they are affecting others. By being aware of positive and negative non-verbal signals, you can improve your image and the way people perceive you.

There is more about these ideas in our pages on Personal Appearance and Non-Verbal Communication , including specific pages on Body Language and Face and Voice .

Verbal Communication and Effective Speaking

What you say and how you say it are both important aspects of how you are perceived by others.

Verbal communication is all about the words that you choose. Those who are good at verbal communication understand the impact of their particular choice of words and choose the right words for the situation and the audience. They are skilled at getting their message across to others and ensuring that it has been received.

See our pages on Verbal Communication for more.

Good communicators also use their voices effectively to convey their feelings, and to influence their audience. Your voice says a lot about you and learning how to use it more effectively has many benefits. There are a number of aspects to your voice, including accent, tone, pitch and volume. Some of these are easier to change than others, but it is worth thinking about how each of these affects your audience, so that you can learn to use your voice more effectively. 

See our pages Effective Speaking and Non-Verbal Communication: Face and Voice to learn more.

How you behave, and not just how you speak, will leave a strong impression on others.

For example, if you are habitually late, you may give other people the impression that you do not value their time. Good time management skills can therefore be helpful in giving the right impression—as well as enabling you to work more efficiently.

See our pages Time Management and Avoiding Distractions for some ideas of to improve your time management skills.

More crucially, your general politeness—to everyone, and not just people who ‘matter’—will create an important impression about how you value others.  This is an essential element of personal presentation. It pays to consider your manners.

See our page How to be Polite for more.

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Learn more about the key communication skills you need to be a more effective communicator.

Our eBooks are ideal for anyone who wants to learn about or develop their interpersonal skills and are full of easy-to-follow, practical information.

And finally…

It is almost certainly impossible to overestimate the importance of personal presentation, especially in creating a good first impression, but also in giving a longer-term view of yourself.

Improving some fairly basic communication skills and increasing your self-awareness will improve your ability to present yourself well. Knowing that you are more likely to say and do the right things, and look the part, will help to increase your confidence. All these will, in turn, help to ensure that you give the right impression.

This is especially true in more formal situations, culminating in improved communication and therefore better understanding.

Continue to: Personal Appearance Self-Presentation in Presentations

See also: Effective Ways to Present Yourself Well Building a Personal Brand That Will Boost Your Career 8 Ways to Effectively Market Yourself as a Professional

Everything You Need To Know About PPT: What Is A PowerPoint Presentation And How Do You Create One?


If you’ve ever asked yourself, “W hat is PowerPoint presentation ?”, then you’re in luck because in this article, you’re going to finally have the answer to your all-important question.

You’ll learn everything there is to know about PowerPoint – its history, how to make an effective PowerPoint presentation, as well as see some great PowerPoint presentation examples.

Have you ever been asked to do a slideshow, a computer presentation, or a proposal presentation?

If you have, then chances are you’ve probably used PowerPoint to deliver your presentation in front of your class, your bosses, your business partners, or even potential investors.

What Exactly Is PowerPoint?

What is a PowerPoint presentation, uses of PowerPoint and how to make a PowerPoint presentation

PowerPoint is Microsoft’s widely-used presentation or slideshow software. Millions of people use this powerful software in presentations in any setting, no matter how big or small the venue.

In fact, it’s probably the first presentation software that comes to mind when people are asked to present something in front of their class or company meeting.

PowerPoint (or PPT for short) is a staple program in the Microsoft Office software suite and comes packaged with Microsoft Word and Excel. You can use PPT on both Mac and PC, or any other computer operating system via the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 .

With PowerPoint, you can easily get your point across, and share your stories with your audience. Instead of verbally describing your product, you can simply show people an image of your product.

As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words. And with PowerPoint, you have the power to convey thousands of words with just a few slides in your slideshow!

In addition to being a powerful presentation software, PowerPoint is also very versatile. You can use it to create many other types of files, such as posters, infographics, videos , PDF, and more.

Before we go over all the outstanding features that Microsoft has programmed into PowerPoint, let’s go over its history briefly so you can better appreciate its awesomeness!

A Brief History of PowerPoint (And The Pre-PowerPoint Era)

I probably won’t be wrong if I say many people think Bill Gates created PowerPoint. After all, he did co-found Microsoft, the biggest software company in the world, and the software as we know it today is called Microsoft PowerPoint. But alas, he didn’t.

Originally called ‘Presenter,’ PowerPoint was created by software startup company, Forethought, Inc. in 1987. It was originally programmed for Macintosh.

Upon realizing its full potential, however, Microsoft purchased not just the rights to use PowerPoint, but they bought Forethought as well. At the time, it was Microsoft’s most expensive acquisition.

And the price tag? $14 million (that’s about $30 million in today’s money). I bet if Forethought, Inc. knew just how popular PowerPoint would become, they would have asked for a much higher price, maybe in the hundreds of millions or quite possibly, even billions of dollars!

Before PowerPoint came into the scene, people were doing presentations by hand. This meant spending not just hours, but days making the presentation design, working on it very carefully, and making sure the final output looked great.

People had to plan every aspect of their presentation very carefully. Mistakes could prove quite costly in terms of both time and money.

Here is an example vintage presentation from GE in the 1950s. Imagine creating this presentation by hand, cutting up cardboard and paper, and gluing everything in place!

Sample slide presentation before PowerPoint came into the picture

In the 1970s and well into the 80s, using overhead projectors (OHP) was a great option for giving presentations. You could write your presentation’s main points on a transparent slide which the OHP will then project onto a screen.

You can write additional notes on the slides, cross out something, draw images, etc. Because you could do these changes while presenting, it made it easier for the presenter to engage with the audience.

For instance, you can ask your audience questions, and then write down their answers on the slide. While this might have been a great option back in the day, OHPs were quite heavy. Lugging it around from one venue to another wasn’t really ideal.

But with the advent of PowerPoint, people can make presentations with just a few mouse clicks. And not just any boring static presentation either. But attractive and attention-grabbing slideshows!

Of course, the earliest versions of PowerPoint look nothing alike the most recent versions. But looks aside, the functionality was already there.

And over the years, Microsoft has developed PowerPoint to keep up with modern times.

Thirty years after it launched, PowerPoint is still a force to be reckoned with and has become synonymous with the word ‘presentation.’

The Many Wonderful Uses Of PowerPoint

Now that you know what PowerPoint is and how it came to be a force in the Microsoft-era, it’s time to go through the uses of this powerful software. This will be especially useful for you if you’re ever tasked to create a PowerPoint project.

Over the years, Microsoft has designed and tweaked PowerPoint to be more user-friendly and more intuitive. Its interface may not be as sleek and as pretty as more recent presentation software, but it does give you plenty of granular control over your presentation.

If you know where to look, you can literally edit every aspect of your slides, right down to the last element!

Here are some popular uses of PowerPoint. Note that for best results, you’d need to follow some best presentation practices so you don’t lose your audience’s attention.

1. Use PowerPoint in lectures, seminars, business presentations, sales pitches, and similar activities

Great PowerPoint presentations are never boring. Get your audience to engage with you!

This is the most popular use of PowerPoint. Instead of writing down their class lessons on whiteboards and blackboards, lecturers can simply prepare their slides in advance and present them in class.

This frees up the lecturer’s time as writing down stuff on the board can take quite a while which leads to students losing interest in the lecture.

With a PowerPoint lesson, lecturers can go through each point on the slideshow and engage or interact with their students directly.

Make your PowerPoint lectures fun and memorable so your students are able to retain more information from your lecture!

With sales and business presentations, you’re pretty much using your slides as a visual aid to support your speech.

Whether you’re presenting your team or department’s quarterly report, or you’re presenting to a group of potential investors, you can use PowerPoint to drive your point home.

It’s much easier, and more credible, to show people your actual results on a well-designed table or graphic than just simply verbally mentioning it.

Likewise, startups and salespeople can use attractive slide decks that accurately depict the product or service they are pitching to potential clients or investors.

In a business setting, the stakes are much higher, so you need to make sure your PowerPoint is as persuasive as possible.

Of course, you’d have to do your part as well. If you’re a dynamic and highly engaging speaker ( you better be if you are in sales! ), then it will be much easier for you to grab your audience’s attention!

Make plenty of eye contact, and put your audience at ease. Be confident – nothing can turn off investors faster than a presenter who doesn’t seem to know what they’re talking about!

2. Use PowerPoint to make tutorial slideshows and videos

People love visual tutorials because they can easily understand how something is done or made. They don’t have to read through 10 pages of text to understand something. Instead, they can easily digest the information they need in just a few slides.

When making tutorials on PowerPoint, you can either use screenshots (static images of your screen), or you can record your activities on your screen.

Taking screenshots is relatively easy. In most cases, you simply need to press the PrintScreen button on your keyboard, and you’ll have your screenshot.

If you don’t know how to take a screenshot, check out TechRadar’s article on the best screen capture software for your computer.

Screen recordings, on the other hand, is not quite as difficult as it once was. In PowerPoint 2013 and 2016, you can easily record your screen by going to Insert > Sc reen Recording .

Simply follow the onscreen instructions, and you’ll have your recording in no time at all.

How to make a PowerPoint screen recording

Here are the screen recording options:

You can use a combination of screen captures and screen recordings to make your PowerPoint tutorial as valuable as possible. Make sure all your points tie in well together. And that your audience can easily understand how the process or system you’re talking about flows from one step to the next.

Moreover, if you want better video editing control, you can use PowerPoint add-ins from third-party software like Camtasia.

With tutorials, you can either present these in person, or you can upload this to the Internet. YouTube is a great place for people to find your content.

Many people go on YouTube to look for tutorials, and not just look at funny cat videos all day!

If you want to get more eyes to your content, then uploading your tutorial to your website, YouTube or any other video-sharing site is an absolute must!

3. Use PowerPoint to make infographics, visual resumes, and other graphics

The many uses of PowerPoint - sample PowerPoint slides and PPT model

This may sound surprising to some, but it’s really quite simple to make infographics on PowerPoint ! If you want to see what’s possible, check out some awesome infographic PowerPoint examples or templates that you can download on Hubspot.

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this article, PowerPoint is a very versatile presentation software. You don’t have to use Photoshop, Canva, or any other graphics software to create infographics.

Over the years, people have come to appreciate the many benefits of creating infographics.

Infographics get more shares on social media, get more backlinking opportunities, and people appreciate the fact that they don’t have to read a thousand words when they can get all the information they need in a single infographic.

If you’re going to be paying a graphic designer to create your infographic for you, expect to shell out hundreds of dollars!

That may or may not sound like a lot of money to you, but if you know how to make a PowerPoint infographic, you can save a lot of money.

Infographics come in many different sizes. If you want to post your infographic on as many platforms as possible, you’d have to check out the individual platform’s size preferences.

No matter the size, however, you can easily change PowerPoint slide dimensions or slide sizes.

All you have to do is go to Design > Slide Size > Custom Slide Size. You can then set the Width and Height for your infographic.

How to change your PowerPoint or PPT slide dimensions for your infographic.

What follows next is strictly limited by your imagination. Think outside the box, and think about the kind of infographic that your audience will find useful.

The more valuable your content, the more people will appreciate you and your hard work.

Use PowerPoint as a tool to help you get your point across and get more eyes to your awesome content!

4. Use PowerPoint to make photo slideshows

PowerPoint may seem like a software strictly for business, but did you know you can also use it for pleasure?

For instance, if you’ve recently been away on vacation, and you’ve taken a thousand pictures of things you want your family and friends to see, then you can easily use PowerPoint to create a photo slideshow.

Of course, you don’t want to bore your friends with your selfies, so make sure you pick only the very best photos of your vacation.

Who knows, it may even lead to photography work for you if people find you take high-quality and emotionally-charged photos!

Some may say you don’t need PowerPoint to create slideshows. These days you can even use your smartphone and hook it up to a laptop or projector. You can then play all the images on your phone if you want.

Some mobile phone apps include music to play along with your slideshow. You also don’t need to worry about adding transitions manually.

While this convenience is obviously great, don’t count out PowerPoint just yet!

The great thing about using PowerPoint when creating slideshows is that you’re not limited to using only photos. You can insert other elements too, like text, video, or any other graphics you want. Adding music or voice narration is easy to do too.

You can do tons of things on PowerPoint that you can’t do on your mobile app. Have a story in mind, think of cool presentation styles that will spice up your slideshow.

To get started, you can add your Photo Album to your slideshow. Go to Insert > Photo Album , and then select the slideshow settings for your presentation.

How to turn your PowerPoint pictures into a slideshow

You can control how you want your slideshow to look like. Use transitions and animations wisely though. Don’t go crazy on them as it could be a huge turn off for your viewers (you don’t want them to get migraines after watching your slideshow)!

With PowerPoint, you can create unique and dynamic slideshows for both business and pleasure. With some creativity, you can mix and match different elements to make your slideshow an instant hit with your viewers.

If you export your slideshow into video format, people won’t even know you made it with PowerPoint! This versatility is what makes PowerPoint such an awesome piece of software.

5. Use PowerPoint in trade show booths and kiosks (self-running presentations)

Knowing how to do a PowerPoint presentation for trade shows is important if you intend to exhibit or participate in such events.

Self-run PowerPoint slideshows or presentations are a common sight in trade shows, trade fairs, trade exhibitions, and the like. Trade events are great for networking, and for getting more leads and sales for your business.

Looping a PowerPoint slideshow allows people to get to know more about your brand or your business. Make your slideshow as engaging as possible.

Don’t use boring templates that will literally make people run off in the opposite direction. You want people to approach your booth, not run away!

For best results, you should know your venue well. Consider the size of your booth, the furniture, the lighting, as well as your proximity to other booths so you can make the perfect presentation.

If possible, consider adding music or a voiceover to your video to make your slideshow engaging.

As usual, don’t go too crazy on animations and transitions, instead use these sparingly. Use animations to emphasize a particular point.

For transitions, a simple fade transition is usually enough for most business presentations.

To begin with, create a presentation outline to make sure your slideshow flows from one idea to the next.

Without a well thought out presentation outline, your audience could get lost in the message you want to convey.

It’s also important to not forget to rehearse your slideshow’s timings. This is especially important for self-run presentations, as no one will be manually clicking on a mouse or keyboard to advance the presentation to the next slide.

In addition to setting up a looping video, PowerPoint’s versatility allows you to create visitor-directed navigation. You can use action buttons or hyperlinks on your display screen.

This gives your audience the option to go over the menu items they want to get more info on, instead of watching your entire slideshow.

How To Make A PowerPoint Presentation Effective And Engaging (And Avoid Death By PowerPoint)

PowerPoint is arguably the most powerful presentation software in existence. However, you may have heard the phrase ‘death by PowerPoint’ before.

Some may find it an odd expression but trust me, it’s a real phenomenon. But what does it really mean?

Great PowerPoint presentations don’t bore people to death

‘Death by PowerPoint’ is NOT in any way, shape or form, the fault of PowerPoint. Rather, it refers to an audience’s reaction to a PowerPoint presentation.

If you’ve ever sat in front of a boring presenter with a very uninspired slideshow who kept on droning on and on about his topic, then you’ve been a victim.

If your eyes have ever glazed while sitting in on a PowerPoint presentation, then you’ve been a victim of ‘death by PowerPoint.’

While your eyes were glazing, you probably had a running commentary in your mind about how the presenter could have done a better job.

For instance, you might have thought how the presenter could have checked out some real engaging PPT presentation samples by simply doing a Google search!

There are literally tons of great-looking, free sample PowerPoint presentations available on the Internet.

Knowing how to do a PowerPoint presentation properly can mean the difference between success and failure.

At one point or another, we’ve all been victims of ‘death by PowerPoint. Know the next points by heart to avoid giving PowerPoint a bad rap!

1. Start with a presentation outline

You’re certainly free to wing your presentation, but if you want to save time, it’s best to create an outline before you start thinking about the designs, and colors you want to use in your PPT.

With an outline, you can write down the main points you want to cover, as well as write down what you’re going to say to describe those points in your verbal presentation.

An outline allows you NOT to waste time going back and forth revising your slides, simply because you can’t get your ideas to flow from one slide to the next!

2. Present one idea or story per slide

You don’t want to cram 10 ideas in a single slide. That would mean too much text and could lead to glazed eyes from your audience members.

A better arrangement would be to present idea #1 in slide #1, idea #2 in slide #2, and so on.

Here’s a good example:

Presentation example which showcase only one idea per slide

In each slide, don’t just display a plain text of the idea you’re going to discuss. Use graphics, nice fonts, animations, etc. to make your idea come to life. You want people to understand your ideas.

Use the right effects to help ensure they understand your ideas thoroughly.

3. Use more graphics and less text

If your audience wanted to read, they’d be going to the library. They’re not going to be looking up at your PowerPoint and read. No.

If you’ve written a hundred words per slide, delete 90 words and leave 10 (or even fewer) of the most important words!

As we mentioned in point #2, use one story per slide. The fewer words you have on your slide, the more interesting your presentation is.

Icons, vector images, and other graphics help bring your presentation come alive, not to mention unique and engaging. Check out the example below:

PowerPoint sample that uses less text and makes good use of graphics

PowerPoint makes an awesome stand-alone graphics software. It may not give Photoshop a run for its money anytime soon, but if you know how to work PowerPoint, you can make some pretty good-looking graphics on there (remember, you can use it to make infographics!).

4. Use plenty of white space

Don’t cram text, images, and graphics in your PowerPoint slides. Instead, use plenty of white space to give greater impact on the topic you’re covering or talking about.

You can use white space to direct your audience’s eyes to the text or graphics you want them to pay attention to.

White space doesn’t necessarily have to be white like you see here:

PPT presentation sample with plenty of white space

Depending on your slide’s design or theme, you can use any color you want as long as it doesn’t make your slide look ‘too busy.’

5. Think about where you’re going to be presenting

This point is particularly important, because if you don’t know where you’re going to be presenting, then your presentation may not be suitable.

For example, if you know you’re going to be presenting in a large room in front of a few hundred people, then you’d make your fonts extra large so people at the back can read too.

If you’re presenting in a small room, then medium to large size fonts would be okay.

6. Use animations and slide transitions sparingly

PowerPoint has plenty of animations and transitions available. But it doesn’t mean you should use all of them in your presentation.

If you’re thinking of using 5 different animations on a single slide, and a different transition anymore after every slide, then you better rethink your presentation!

You may find it cool, but I guarantee your audience will hate it. Using too many animations and transitions is a sure-fire way of getting your audience’s ire.

If you want people to pay attention to your presentation, use animations, and slide transitions as sparingly as possible.

7. Tell stories that appeal to your audience’s emotions

Make your presentation relatable to your audience. If you’re presenting in front of a middle-aged professional crowd, then tone down your design.

Don’t use slang that’s more fitting for youngsters than people in their 40s or 50s.

Stories help get your point across. To make people remember your story, you’d need to connect with them on an emotional level. Tell a joke at the right time. Drop a relevant quote when possible.

8. Make frequent eye contact

If making eye contact scares you, then it’s best to practice speaking in front of a mirror and looking into your eyes. Think of it as looking into the eyes of your audience.

When you’re ready to practice with other people, ask family members or friends to sit in front of you. Ask them to give you some pointers and feedback to help you improve.

When presentation time comes, you may be surprised at just how easy it is to look your audience in the eye.

9. Your confidence helps enhance your presentation

Confidence is an important factor to make your presentation as effective and as engaging as possible. Making eye contact helps convey confidence.

If you don’t fumble on stage and stay calm even though you just encountered a technical problem, then you help put your audience at ease.

Your confidence allows you to charm your audience and help make your presentation memorable to them.

Being confident allows you to deliver your speech, and use your presentation slides, in an engaging manner.

You want your audience to hang onto every word you say. Your presentation is just a visual aid, you need to have the confidence to pull off a solid presentation that will get you high marks in your audience’s book!

PowerPoint Is Still King Among Presentation Software

There’s no doubt. With its versatility and its robust features and tools, PowerPoint still reigns supreme even today.

What’s even better is you’re not stuck with the default settings. You can further expand its feature set by downloading PowerPoint plugins to get even more out of the software.

Over the decades, Microsoft has done an excellent job of keeping PowerPoint up to date. They regularly update the software every few years and add features that keep it competitive with the current presentation software landscape.

Competition may have stepped up over the years, but no one is yet to say that Keynote, Google Slides, Prezi, Slidebean, Visme, or any other presentation software, has taken over PowerPoint’s giant market share.

I hope this article has answered your question, “What is PowerPoint presentation?” If anything is still unclear, we have tons of articles on this blog about PowerPoint, Keynote, Presentation Design, and many other relevant topics!

You might also find this interesting: How To Write A Great PowerPoint Presentation That Will Glue Your Audience To Their Seats

Create professional presentations online

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How to embed video in powerpoint | mac | 2016 | 2013, tutorial: save your powerpoint as a video, how to download and install fonts for powerpoint for mac.


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