The first impression you make when you step onto the stage is an important one. It is to your advantage to know what you should wear when you are on stage as well as what you should avoid wearing, in order to make sure your first impression a great one. Let’s begin with what not to wear…
1) Do not wear clothes that are too tight. Being uncomfortable is not the way to boost your confidence. It distracts you and your audience.
2) Don’t wear anything revealing. Not too low, not too short. You may think that I am directing this comment exclusively to women, but I have sat in audiences where the male speaker had a few too many buttons open on his shirt and to this day, I am hard pressed to remember what his message was.
3) Don’t wear a lot of jewelry. As a lover of beautiful jewelry, I enjoy seeing an elegant piece of jewelry that enhances an outfit. However, when it takes your eye away from the speaker’s face or their message, then it defeats its purpose.
4) An addendum to #3: Don’t wear noisy jewelry. One speaker I saw had so many bangle bracelets on that it sounded like musical accompaniment.
5) Don’t wear uncomfortable, ratty, outdated shoes on stage. I have a speaker friend who is most comfortable in 4-inch heels. I, on the other hand, am more confident in a lower, more stable heel. I have seen raggedy shoes worn by speakers on stage that are obviously the most comfortable pair they owned, but not appropriate to wear on stage. The thing you must remember is that on a stage, you are elevated from the audience. Depending on the height of the stage, your audience might in eye level to your shoes.
As unfair as it is, people judge you based on what they see first and then on what you say and do. Follow these tips and you will avoid needless judgements and feel more calm, cool and collected for your next speaking gig.
Interested in learning how to avoid the pitfalls and shorten your journey to a successful speaking career? Then join Engaging Speakers to learn how you can “Speak Your Way to More Business”.
Author: Gail Brown, Founder of Engaging Speakers