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Sling those sandals and slap on the style

Out go the beard and sandals - in come the strong handshake, eye-contact, posture, charm, confident voice and smart appearance.

American performance coach Mary Spillane - previous clients Presidents Carter and Reagan - said principals and lecturers needed a strong personal brand image.

She told the Association of Colleges' annual conference that the image of college staff had not always been associated with style.

"The 21st-century lecturer should project both confidence and style and look like a man or woman of the future rather than someone stuck in a time warp. Learning how to dress to flatter yourself, project what you want and look modern is key," she said.

Principals lived in a world where people made snap judgments about others in just 15 seconds, which could take a lifetime to shake off.

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