Image management is a process. There are things you do and things you don’t. To create a favourable image you must gain credibility with your interactive partner. To do this you must keep up a high degree of eye contact, but not continuous eye contact. A fast delivery rate of words, loud enough to have a command presence, with short pauses after key points increases perceptions of competence. Cultural expectations of appearance and dialect without accent are perceived to make you more competent.
Looking down before answering a question is associated with forming a lie, averting eye contact as being untruthful, and when verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, such as insincere smiles, the speaker as untrustworthy. Shifty eyes and other nervous behaviour makes the speaker judged less competent.
Likability is also a part of image management and in addition to the above factors of credibility/competence certain body language must be communicated. A person must seem to like another. To do this keep close interaction distance, sit and face your conversation partner directly,slightly lean forward, and smile. Keep your arms and legs from crossing each other to keep an open body position and stay relaxed. Be interested in the other’s words and stay focused on the conversation. Dress professionally, clothing will make you seem more or less likeable. Do not wear casual clothing or light coloured clothing, and men should never wear a jacket lighter than the pants they are wearing.Your speaking voice must be trained as pleasant, relaxed, emotionally expressive at key points, friendly, and competent. Spontaneous, open, and uncensored expressive communication behaviours make a person more likeable.
You achieve communication dominance through occasional short periods of staring. Weak communicators avoid this and others perceive them guilty of something, fearful or socially inferior. The more you can look someone in the eyes the more you are dominant. This is especially true when you are speaking. When you are listening the opposite becomes the truth. A dominant communicator controls the talk time and is confident to interrupt another.
Weak communicators use too many hesitations when talking,have closed body positions, appear tense, are not very animated, and look down often while speaking. They also speak in a low volume that lacks assertiveness.