Tick tock tick tock… the clock is ticking and it’s getting closer to your event! You were so into the preparation of the speech that you actually forgot about other important element: what should you wear during a public speaking event?
First of all, why is it important to think about your outfit for a public speaking event?
The most important thing about your outfit is it will be your shell! It has to be comfortable and make you feel confident. Feeling this way will give you space to think about the only thing that really matters: capturing the attention of your audience and delivering your message during your public speaking event because at the end of the day, that is why you are on stage, right?
It only takes a few seconds for people to make up their mind about you and shift the way they see you. In that case, you want to catch their attention right away. As it happens so quickly, the way you carry yourself and the way you dress will play a huge role, especially if they don’t know you. With the right outfit, you will give a good first impression to your audience within the first second as you introduce yourself!!
Who is your audience, and what dress code are they following?
Dress consistently with who you are and what you are promoting. .
If you are a fashion designer giving a public speech in front of a row of fashion students, you will have the space to express your personality but… Also, don’t try to blend in too much with your audience!
Your outfit needs to make you stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to be different. You are an authority, you know what you are talking about so showing your confidence by being bold might be a good way to assert yourself too! The idea is that you are a temporary authority as a speaker and as such you need to signal that sartorially. The audience will expect you to do so. But if you show up wildly mismatched with the audience, communication will be difficult and your performance will not be judged on its merits.
Here a few outfit that I loved for public speechs:
How to know what suits you best?
Your body shape and colors are really codified. I got some help from Ilary Crespo and her styling service to help me find what’s best for me in any circumstances.
If you are completely lost and always feel you have nothing to wear, Ilary has the perfect tailored service for you. From shopping together or a simple style guide book, she has you covered!
I think it’s a really good investment because 1. you get this resource for life and 2. It makes your life MUCH easier while shopping. You can stop spending time browsing around and pick exactly the right colors or the right outfit for your body shape. It really increased my confidence as well!
To talk more about that, after I received my style book from Ilary and surprisingly discovered that I was a “warm autumn”, I completely changed my look. Went back to my brunette colors, highlighting my face with a nice blush and warm lipstick. But mostly my style changed and people around me noticed it which really helped with my confidence. Especially during public speaking events when you need to feel YOUR BEST! More importantly, it’s a confidence booster for you. If you feel good about what you wear, you move and may even talk differently.
Adapt your outfit for on-stage public speaking or in front of the camera:
Depending on the platform, you will need to adapt your outfit. Avoiding stripes is a basic rule when you are in front of cameras. But as well, if your public speaking event is recorded you might need to be careful dealing with both platforms. If you are walking a lot on stage, I would recommend an outfit that embraces your move. You might feel too tight in a plain shirt for example. As well, something not so glamorous to think about is sweat. Public speaking can be stressful. Stressful situations often mean sweat, so choose a color and a shape that doesn’t leave any trace of it, otherwise you might really feel uncomfortable.
How to improve your public speaking skills ?
I recently found a website entirely dedicated to public speaking advice and coaching: Merci Larry. It’s a real gold mine of articles and resources to help you perform your best! I would highly recommend to check it out, if you don’t feel comfortable about performing on stage.
Hope this helps during your public speaking events! Don’t hesitate to comment or give me some feedback in the comment section!