She gave Malaysians the 101 on first impressions at the closing of Knowledge and Personal Skill Development Course organised by the Welfare Association of Wives and Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Bakti). She said:
“You ladies often accompany your husbands abroad and in this context, the challenge is not just your personal image but more importantly the image and reputation of the country,” said Rosmah, as reported by Bernama.
Yes, first impressions can be everything, and yes, style plays a big part in forming them but Rosmah opined that style doesn’t have to come at a hefty price tag, as long as it’s “neat, stylish and proper”.
Yes, she said that. That you don’t have to own expensive goods to look good!
“Self-image doesn’t mean we wear expensive or branded clothes. But it’s enough that we wear something that suits the event – neat, stylish, and proper,”
“When we wear something neat and exciting, it will give a different perception to the community as it makes for a good first impression,” she said.
She moved onto the next facet of first impression – communication skills – and dished out her tips on mastering the art of communication. According to her, that means being well-versed in the subject, reading up and using the right intonations when speaking.
Rosmah also touched on how leaders’ wives needed to develop mental strength strong enough to deal with criticism.
“I hope, ladies, that you can not only sift through information on social media intelligently, but are also smart enough to differentiate between what is right, wrong, slander, and made-up stories.”
“In our efforts to serve the community, I am of the view that we don’t have to care about or think too much about negative comments, or slander hurled against us, especially from the opposition and on social media,” she said.
A video of her speech was made available through Malaysiakini.
The course organised by Bakti, where Rosmah spoke, aimed to increase the credibility of the group as champions in women’s activities, to be more effective Bakti members and to understand the reforms in government policies. First impressions wasn’t all that was being taught: topics on social etiquette, personal grooming, public speaking and table manners were one of the few topics the course oversaw.