Have you ever watched a video of one of your speaking engagements only to think, I will never wear that again? I certainly have and it’s only through my experiences, good and bad, that I have come up with 5 items NOT to wear for your speaking engagement. I thought they might help you, too.
Clothing That Doesn’t Fit Properly
The last thing you want to do is worry about whether your blouse is gaping, your jacket is off-kilter, or your dress is shifting to the right when you move around. When you wear clothing that is well-tailored to your beautiful shape, your confidence will not falter due to the distractions of clothes that just don’t fit. When your wardrobe is tailored to you, it elevates your personal brand and the value others see in you.
Something Too Short
Often times we are sitting in chairs, on stools or standing above the audience. If I’m going to wear a dress for my presentation I do the “too high on my thigh” test! I will sit in a chair and look at myself in the mirror while sitting. If a little too much thigh is showing, I’ll opt for another outfit. When you wear something that shows more than you’d like, you may be sending the wrong message without even knowing it.
Are you using a handheld mic, a clip-on, or a headset? Knowing your mic is key to choosing your wardrobe. In the past, I’ve built a beautiful look only to need to remove my statement piece necklace because it was rubbing up against the clip-on. Once I needed to take my earrings off because they were slightly jingling against my headset. Jewelry noise can be very distracting to some of your audience members, and you want their focus on you and your message. Believe me, the audio-visual team will appreciate not needing to change up mics at the last minute!
For crying out loud, ladies… it’s time to take off the shoes that hurt our feet and stand solidly on the stage. I absolutely get the desire to look polished, beautiful, sexy and powerful, but wearing heels that hurt our feet (or might catch on what can be unfamiliar stage surface) is not worth the broken ankle. When your feet hurt or you are mindful of maintaining balance on spike heels, it distracts you from your ever-important purpose and message.
The best-dressed woman is the one with regal posture. I am a body language nerd and get pleasure out of studying the way people carry themselves. When women step on stage with less than exemplary posture, it lessens their trust and credibility factor. Part of my pre-stage ritual is to get my body moving, sometimes even doing jumping jacks to get my energy going and my body engaged, so I can be the most compelling me. Then I check in with my posture. Tighten my abs and buns. Tip my pelvis forward and roll my shoulders into my back pockets. Then imagine my body as a long strand of pearls grounding me from my base and lifting me heavenward from the crown of my head. Finally, I let the rest of my body relax which allows my words to come with ease.
Remember, it’s your message that matters. When your clothes fit, you have no wardrobe related distractions, and your posture is compelling and profound, you will deliver a presentation that is worthy of the passion you feel about your purpose!