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You might see yourself as a CEO-in-training, but others’ perception of you counts even more. If bosses and influential colleagues view you as lacking the right stuff to lead, then all your efforts to get ahead can fizzle.

Here are three easy ways to beef up your image:

1. Make yourself “interruption-proof.” If you rarely get to finish a sentence, you may lack the perceived authority or credibility you need to earn others’ respect. Condense your comments into 20 seconds or less. Make every word count. Hold your ground if a peer tries to cut you off.

2. Polish your posture. Whether you stand or sit, straighten your back. That’s the best way to radiate more power in a jiffy. If you perpetually slump, lean or stoop, you’ll look broken by the weight of life’s burdens.

3. Groom in private. You want others to see you as someone who dresses professionally without a whiff of self-consciousness. So don’t pick lint from your clothes, use your hand as a makeshift hairbrush or repeatedly adjust your clothes so they fit better. Indulge in any of these distracting habits and problems tend to multiply: You tighten your tie only to discover a stain on your coat, which you then try to scrub off. Solution: Limit your grooming to a few times a day—in private.

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