When we deliver a presentation, we need to make the best use of all of the tools that we have at our disposal. These tools include things such as hand gestures, using pauses, and vocal variety. All too often we forget that we have one more tool for us to use: our personal style.
Life is busy and all too often too many of us just don’t take the time to look our best when we venture out into public. The reasons for this are many – we don’t expect to meet anyone that we know, we don’t think that we’re going to be out for long, or maybe we just don’t care.
It turns out that this kind of thinking opens all sorts of doors for us as presenters. If we take the time to look our best then we’ll end up being the best looking person in the room. What this means is that everyone will be looking at us. If they are already looking at us, then we’ve got half of our task taken care of!
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 use this tool to it’s fullest extent:
- Keep The Bling To A Minimum: Over time we all build up a collection of accessories. Women have a collection of flashy necklaces and too-big earrings. Men have (also) too flashy necklaces, tie holders, bracelets, etc. Remember that accessories are designed to add value to your look – not to distract from the overall package. The rule is to keep it simple and suitable for your outfit.
- Get Some Culture: This should be something that your research for any presentation reveals to you. A suit is always appropriate – except when it’s not. Make sure that you dress in a way that matches the event or the culture of your audience. Have your dress match the expectations of your audience.
- Smile For The Camera: As long as you are going to the effort of getting all gussied up for your big presentation, take the time to make sure that all of the photographs that are taken of you show how good you look. We can never have enough photos of ourselves when we are looking our bests. Find a professional photographer and get a formal picture taken of yourself – this will be invaluable to you later on.
All too often we end up spending all of our time researching what we want to say, how we want to say it, and what we want our audience to be motivated to do once we are done talking.
If we take the time to plan out how we are going to look for our next presentation then we’ll be ahead of the game before we even show up. Sometimes just taking the time to look at ourselves in the mirror before we head out the door can do wonders for making our presentation that more effective…!
Have you ever discovered that you owned any accessories that were too distracting to wear while presenting? Did you ever deliver a presentation where you were not dressed to match the culture of your audience? Have you ever had a bad photograph of you taken while you were presenting? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.