Before speakers start talking, it’s their clothes that draw attention. So one of the essential features of speakers is how to dress for a professional presentation.
As I said many times in my other articles, the first impression matters most, and the audience will notice speakers at the very beginning of their entrance. The speakers’ appearance gives some crucial info about them.
Let me tell you something funny! Imagine a speaker dressed up like this starts talking to you. How would you react?
Of course, I am sure no one starts a public speaking like this. It was just an exaggerated example! But we can say that we won’t take this person seriously even if he says he’s the manager of a large airline company! So we have to learn how to dress for a professional presentation.
Dress up fits to the public and crowd:
Don’t think to dress up for a professional presentation means you have to wear casual clothes or a suit all the time! You are human beings, and you have to be flexible and change your clothes based on the situation.
If you have to present in front of the president, you have to dress formal clothes. But to present for orphans or children of a charity center, it’s better to wear customs of a clown! (I’ve done it many times, and I am proud of it because it made the children comfortable and listen to me more carefully with more enthusiasm.)
Notice the audience’s culture:
If you present with shorts in some countries, it’ll be rude and disrespectful to the audience, but a student in Oxford University may be able to do so way too easily and become one of the best lecturers.
Be clean and neat:
The fact that your clothes must be ironed and has no wrinkles on it may be too obvious, but you may be surprised to see all presentations around the world. Sometimes people don’t take these simple matters very seriously. Try to write a checklist to know what you have to wear and what you have to do with them before the day comes. (taking clothes from the laundry, tie clamp, waxing the shoes, etc.)
Be special but don’t go too far! It means wearing decent and neat clothes to be a little bit better than others at the salon. Do not insist on being so much different. (to distinguish this fact is up to you and your situation).
How should women dress for a professional presentations?
Women should know that they have to stay in speaker position. Sometimes women have so much makeup on their face that the audience notices their face more than what they are saying.
Another thing is high-heeled shoes! High-heeled shoes are your enemy on the stage because they won’t let you walk easily as they have a little cross-section. You have to stand, walk toward the stage and take the stairs so your shoes must be something to make it easier for you.
Suitable shoes in lectures
Since I don’t have enough knowledge in this matter, I asked my dear friend and colleague, Diane Windingland for help and I used her article “What do your shoes say?”
Your shoes speak volumes as to your self-esteem, your social status, your professionalism, and your attunement to the audience, your topic, and the event.
For women–some shoes are OK with slacks but look if you wear them with a dress. And, NEVER wear brand-new shoes when you speak. Wear shoes that you are comfortable in and have worn successfully before.
read “What do your shoes say?” for more.