Today I’ll be speaking at Constant Contact about PR Power on a Budget. There should be about 100+ people in the room and I’m on first. All good with me. I sent in my presentation last week, practiced and decided on an outfit, with a backup just in case.
Does What You Wear Make an Impression on Your Audience?
If you said no, I’ll beg to differ. If you said yes, you’re right! I always tell audiences, “you are your brand wherever you go” and it’s no different on stage. There could be a roomful of prospects that are interested in what you have to say and perhaps wonder what you could do for them. In my case, they want to see me at my best, and I want to give them my best. The total package. I’m also speaking about my passion, “How to Market Yourself” or a variation of the PR theme. Clothes do count so wear them well and smile for the camera!
Here are 5 Tips on Styling for the Stage or Giving a Presentation and Elevate Your Brand:
- Always dress a few steps above your audience. You are the expert and should dress like one. If you’re speaking from stage and are any good, the audience wants to aspire to be like you. Confident and successful. And if you’re selling, it’s even more important. Play the part with your dress, attitude and aura. You’re probably not selling a $49 service.
- Many years ago, I made the huge mistake of wearing a red jacket with a leopard collar to a blue chip law firm for a Ryder Cup Event meeting. I thought I looked jazzy, but the client apparently didn’t think so. I should have worn a more stylized ‘dress code’ selection, but I didn’t even think about it. If you’re going to give a presentation to a conservative client or firm, don’t wear the leopard collar. Find something appropriate and accessorize gently. Learn from my 5 figure mistake.
- If the audience can smell your cologne, perfume or moth balls from the stage, that’s bad. I’ve been in elevators where I’ve held my breath and the ride to the 30th floor almost did me in. Everything you do has to be brand on, and that includes how you smell. It seems foolish to even have to mention, but I’ve been at 2 events lately where it mattered. I suppose I didn’t have to sit in the first row.
- Shoes count, especially with women. Women check out other women’s shoes. In fact, women check out everything. And ask questions like, who cuts your hair and other sometimes personal questions you might think off limits. My advice, answer at your own risk, or not. You were brought up to answer questions, but you don’t always have to.
- Tight dresses and short skirts. Men check out how tight dresses are and how short skirts are, but women take it all in too. Needless to say, refrain from daisy duke dresses and ladies, wear Spanx. Also walk in from the side of a room if you have the chance. I talk about it in my upcoming book, why. Hmmm.
A few other suggestions. Men, be sure that your pants are zipped because there’s nothing more horrifying than to have your fly open on stage. No joke, not that I look, but I saved two speakers from a very embarrassing moment and let’s just say they were grateful. And ladies, make sure that you have extra pantyhose, because runs really do look bad on stage. And the pink polish to stop the run, is so yesterday.
Wake up extra early too and get to your location well ahead of time. Have 3 copies of your presentation in different places or devices. As another piece of advice, just keep the most recent version. I once delivered a presentation to 300 people and it was a near final draft with notes I made to myself. When I realized it on stage, I covered my mouth in horror then laughed. It was the most authentic presentation I ever gave and one of the most successful.
Style up your brand. Speak to build an audience. And have fun.
Life is short and you can’t be working all the time.
PS – Remember I gave 2 talks to University Students in Puerto Rico? The University of Puerto Rico had a television crew before my event and did a news segment on me, in Spanish and English. I never expected it, but it was fun. You can snag publicity while you’re on vacation! I’ll post the interview on Twitter. Follow me @RobinSamora.