Do You Look Presentable During Your Presentation?

by drjim on January 21, 2009

How You Dress Can Have A Big Impact On How Effective Your Presentation Is

How You Dress Can Have A Big Impact On How Effective Your Presentation Is

Remember when your Mom said that looks don’t matter? She may have been right then; however, now is now and the better you look, the more impact your presentation will have.

Whether you realize it or not, you are always being judged by your audience. What you need is some advice to make sure that you come out on top when they judge you. If you take a moment and think about, you are representing a brand in how you act, walk, and talk. Your wardrobe plays a big part in the impression that you make.

Carmine Gallo is a communications coach who has spent a lot of time thinking about this topic. Here are some of his suggestions that will help you do this correctly:

  1. You MUST Look Better Than Everyone Else In The Room: If you remember nothing else from this post, then remember this – great presenters should always dress just a little bit nicer than everyone else who is attending the event. The classic example of this was Ronald Reagan (“the great communicator”) who always stood out because he was always the best dressed person in the room.
  2. Make Sure That Your Clothes Fit Correctly: How many of us wear clothes that are too short, too long, too tight, or even too loose? If you’ll take just a moment and list to what George Zimmerman, the founder of Men’s Wearhouse, says you’ll understand that you are making a mistake. Zimmerman says that the #1 most important decision that you need to make when buying clothes is that they give you a proper fit.
  3. Make Sure Your Clothes Say Nice Things About You: Make sure that you choose clothes that complement you – your skin tone, hair, and your eye color. The key here is to make sure that your clothes complement you, not fight you. Feel free to mix and match – just make sure that they look good together.
  4. Are You Well Heeled?: Assuming that you are not a puppy, it is still important that you pay attention to your shoes. It turns out that people really do notice the shoes that you are wearing. Make sure that you spend as much time on picking out your shoes as you do the rest of your outfit.
  5. Quality Is Worth It – Spend More: It turns out that you are not just paying for a fancy designer label. High quality fabrics and shoes not only look better, but they also last longer. Go ahead – spend more for better quality clothes and you’ll not only look nicer, but you will save money in the end because your clothes will last longer.

There you go – it’s not that hard to look great. Take the time to look good and your presentation will have that much more impact.

Do you take the time to look your best before every presentation that you give? Have you ever been giving a presentation when you realized that there was something wrong with your outfit? What did you do about it? Leave me a comment and let me know what’s on your mind.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon March 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm

What a great article! From all the speaking advice I have given to others, I also find that dressing great gives the speaker a heads up. Not only does it make the speaker feel good about themselves, it helps create a good rapport with the audience. I speak all over the United States, and try to find good quality ‘travel’ clothes that represent the area I am in. Dressing for the occasion is also important.


Dr. Jim Anderson March 24, 2011 at 6:17 am

Sharon: The rule in the speaking business is that you always want to be the best dressed person in the room. You bring up a great point that we really should find out what our audience will be wearing — we still want to be able to connect with them!


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