Our appearance is fortunately or unfortunately how people perceive us. It is actually a very important part of body language and what we communicate of who we are and what we do. Since this is such a crucial part, we should be paying more attention to it... as it will mark the tone of the presentation.
One time my father told me when he wants to polish his shoes, he looks for the guy that has his own shoes polished. Because it speaks loudly about how much he cares about his shoes and the quality of his work starts by taking care of himself. That actually applies for anything! When I go to a hair salon and I don't know anyone, I seek for the person whose hair is amazing and taken care of. Because if they don't care for their own, why would they care about mine?
When you conducting a presentation, in front of three people or three thousand, this principle still remains:
Your topic, your message, your personality, your audience and your environment have to be aligned...consistency is key!
Think about this: What do you want them to remember? The content of your presentation, or how uncomfortable your shoes looked, how distracting your dress was, or how odd was your tie and suit were in a Highschool presentation where you wanted to connect to students and convince them to stay away from bad habits?
These are some suggestions that might help you be more memorable, relevant and authentic:
Your clothes - comfortable clothing, matching the place you are presenting and your audience. If you are going to present to professionals in finance at a corporation, about the latest trends on personal banking, a formal suit could be ok. But if you are presenting a fun topic to new business owners about how to find the right team for their social media campaign, that same suit might be inadequate. The way you dress has to be part of what you want to communicate. Be careful not to distract the topic with your clothing.Your hair - definitely taken care of, groomed, clean. It could be long, medium or short, straight, wavy, curly, any color any style. Regardless of your preference, what's best is what allows you to be in control of the presentation and not your hair. Don't try to look like other people, never pay attention to the nonsense that straight hair will give you more authority or will make you look serious. If you have curly hair, and you want to show your beautiful curls, go ahead, how nice! However, on the other hand, if you have long hair and you are constantly touching it, playing with it and holding it, then it's a distraction. Try to tie it back.Your accessories - just enough to match your outfit. Be careful that they don't blink with the lights and they don't make noises. Otherwise, they might become quite distracting. We suggest you don't use hats, sun glasses or coats for your presentations, as these items might block the visual communication. Note for my friends dedicated to make jewelry...in your case, you must WEAR IT!Your shoes - they must be comfortable! Nothing more awful than the greatest shoes that people can't walk in, or stumble as they walk through the room or stage. Remember you are going to be standing up and moving, so be careful not to sacrifice beauty for a natural look. And always polish them, shine them. It doesn't matter if they are expensive high heels or hiking boots, please clean them. The elegance is in the details.Your tattoos - we are in 2018... who cares! And if you have one and you are in a place where people are going to judge you for that, make a choice: if they care and criticize you, they might not be your audience. And if they don't care, neither should you.
Conclusion: Be your authentic self, and align with your content.
Remember, it's not about you, it's about your audience!
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