Do I Really Have to Dress Up?

Jan 18, 2021

So, it’s time to give your presentation. You mentally flip through what to wear, battling with your thoughts. “I’ve already worked hard on my content. I’ve practiced my delivery. But do I really have to put on the suit? Will anyone even care? They absolutely will!

 Any time we stand up before others, we are putting ourselves into a position of both credibility and authority. Not only does our audience assume we know our topic, but they will also expect us to “look” successful as well. In fact, our attire is often the first thing noticed. I can’t tell you how to dress in one short blog, but here are a few basic pointers that will help.

 Always lean to the conservative side when making wardrobe choices. Most likely, your audience is composed of a wide variety people that have a plethora of tastes and preferences. It’s best to stay in the middle of the proverbial road. 

Clean and pressed is the name of the game. Nobody believes you can take charge of a topic if your outfit is rumpled and looks like you’ve worn it twice before you stepped behind the podium. The idea is that your clothing compliments the whole package and does not detract from it.

It doesn’t have to be new, but it should be polished and not too tight. Go ahead and add a little polish to that scuff…and opt for the blouse that fits a little loose. Let’s not wear distractions.

 In most cases, it’s wise to cover the ink. It’s best to try and look at tattoos from the perspective of your audience. Is this a corporate thing? Are there more older members than younger? Make your decision according to the answers.

 There’s another added payoff. It turns out that dressing well can actually cause you to be more successful! Studies show that those who dressed up were more likely to engage in confident behavior and strong presentations, while those less well-dressed tended not to be as impactful.

 So, the next time you’re rifling through the closet, don’t even bother with the idea of doing otherwise. Get dressed to ensure your success!

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