Dressing For Public Appearances

What to Wear and When
Dressing For Public Appearances

clothing for public speaking

You got rid of the 60 Minutes camera crew, but now you have to appear before the closed Grand Jury hearing and the place is packed!!! Even if you boss has asked you to make the annual meeting presentation, how you look is important.

Humans evaluate others on a subliminal/prehistoric basis. First impressions are an emotional response that we may not have any logical control over. We can learn how to make positive steps to influence those responses.

For your television appearance, if you think what you will say will be more important than how you look, rethink! Over half of communication is non-verbal. It’s not what you say, but how you say it, and how you look saying it!

Here are some recommendations for any “large audience” public appearances.

  • Be neat – small flaws are magnified when you are the focus for a large audience.
  • Like for TV, outfits of solids colors that contrast look best. Navy suit, white shirt, burgundy tie. (Blue shirt/blue tie fade together at a distance).
  • Avoid strong patterns.
  • Don’t fade into the background. Find out what color the background is before hand and try to contrast with it.
  • Make sure your face is lighted (visible) even if you’re showing slides, etc.
  • Your shirt is important as a frame for your face, don’t hide it with a vest or sweater.
  • Wear nothing that makes noise (jewelry), and try not to hit the microphone.
  • Smile! The audience will likely accept your message if they like you.
  • Be animated. You’re on stage, be an actor!

And good luck with the Grand Jury!!

I know you’ll get a standing ovation!

— Andy Gilchrist

how to public cpeaking