One thing that presenters often either worry too much, or not enough about is what clothes to wear. In fact, although what to wear should be an easy choice, the wrong decision can affect the audience’s impression of you negatively.
Dress for success
Dressing for success does not mean dressing to make an impact. Look to make an impact with your message not your clothing. However, you need to put some basic consideration into your presentation clothing choice. What you wear should be:
1. Low key
1. Low key
Steve Jobs famously wore a simple combination of jeans and a plain black top for many of his presentations. In this way, what he wore never distracted people from the message he was delivering.
So think plain, or not heavily patterned clothing. You want people to focus on your face and reciprocate any eye contact you might make. Avoid anything that may draw attention away this. For example, even though an antique brooch maybe be a wonderful conversation starter at a networking event, it is best to take it off when you deliver your presentation.
As most of us aren’t CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies, we may need to dress up a little more than Steve Jobs. For most presentations, simple and professional, but relaxed business attire is appropriate.
Specifically, that means a plain dark business suit (recently dry-cleaned, if possible) with a white or plainly colored shirt or blouse (top button only undone, no tie necessary). Shoes should clean and dark.