Thursday, September 23, 2010

Grooming and Appearance

It may not be the right thing to do, but people do judge a book by its cover.

There are many expert consultants dedicated entirely to helping others improve their appearance. Below is a collection of the most common items that come up for discussion during my workshops.
  • Do not wear excessive jewelry, loud prints, or colorful shoes that create competition for attention 
  • Avoid strong perfumes/colognes 
  • Remove change from pockets so you do not jingle it unintentionally 
  • Make sure your belt is through all the loops in your pants 
  • Check your teeth & face after meals 
  • No gum, mints, or anything else in your month while speaking – they can fly out and cause an awkward moment 
  • Check all your buttons 
  • Position all coat flaps correctly 
  • Straighten your scarf or tie
  • When in doubt, dress conservatively
  • When speaking to a larger group, be sure to wear something that has a lapel or place to clip a remote microphone 
  • Check your zipper(s) 
While you do not want to appear stuffy and unapproachable, you also want your message taken seriously. Unless you are absolutely sure that casual dress is the way to go, dress it up a notch. Your audience will sense your comfort level, so it is important to feel good in what you are wearing. Just don’t over do it to the point that your attire competes for the attention.

What can you add to the list above?


TJ said...

Speakers need to ask themselves "is everything about my appearance 100% consistent with the image and message i am trying to convey?"

The Presenter's Coach said...

TJ, well said. Recently, I witnessed a leadership speaker (outside consultant) wearing sweat pants because we were at a sports apparel retailer. Any thoughts on that?

Dermot said...

Also on the topic of more casual clothing - t-shirts or indeed anything that has text or slogans printed on them.

A good rule of thumb is "don't"! It distracts the audience, causing them to read your chest and not look at your face and it could be the the slogan/writing gives a different message than the one that you're trying to convey.

If you're going to wear slogan/text clothing then make sure that it fits in with the theme of your message.