How ‘Trick or Treaters’ can help advance your career

Any child can tell you that when it comes to Halloween, there are “tricks” that can earn you more treats. Professional speaking consultant Diane DiResta agrees, and she concludes that adults can advance their careers by observing costumed youngsters. As a consultant serving high-profile business leaders (e.g. AT&T, L’Oréal, Merrill Lynch, Michael Kors, NASA), she understands how to “scare up” more career success.

For adults desiring to get ahead, DiResta offers these 5 kid-tested first impression tips:

To get more treats, stand out

The most interesting costume will get noticed.

DiResta says that for adults in business, this translates into, “Surprise your co-workers with an outfit that stands out from what your normally wear.” “We communicate the moment we walk into a room before we open our mouths. People first notice your clothes. If you normally wear blue suits, find a collection of eye-popping ties that will get you noticed.”  

Smile to get more sweets

Even a smile from Frankenstein can be disarming Children who smile get more.

DiResta advises that a smile makes one approachable. She shares a tip from originated from a legendary actress  “Don’t say ‘cheese,’ when asked to smile. It produces an artificial, forced grin. Instead, say “Bit-o-Honey’ for a more natural beam.”  

Engage first, then ask for the “dosh”

Look at the person as you say, “Trick or Treat!” Have a conversation; make a request.

Focused dialogue with eye contact makes you more likeable. When the child at your door engages you in conversation, you gain a more favorable impression than when they grab the goodies and take off. DiResta encourages you to take the time to be personable, even when something “frightening” is happening at work.

Make it easy to receive to get more candy.

Hold your bag open so that candy can be dropped in easily.

           In the same way, you must be “open” to receiving appalling criticism from Freddy Kruger, if you expect to advance on the job, according to DiResta.  

Say thank you because that’s giving back a treat

Might even get you extra candy.

Graciousness rules. DiResta notes that we are never condemned for being too polite. Even during a brief encounter at someone’s door, it good to make a good impression.

Diane DiResta, CSP, is the founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, Inc.,