When you have a presentation coming up, deciding what you’ll wear is an important part of your preparation. The right outfit will make you feel good and will create a favorable first impression in your audience. The wrong one could be distracting for you and them.
You don’t need to be an expert in everything fashion-related to find the right clothes to wear. Here are some simple tips on deciding what you should wear for your next presentation.
1. Consider What Your Audience Will Be Wearing
The rule of thumb is that you should either dress at the same level of formality as your audience, or dress one level of formality higher. If they’re all in casual dress, such as jeans and t-shirts, you could do the same. You could also go with a button-up shirt for a business casual look. A suit, on the other hand, would be too much.
The reason to think about what your audience is wearing is because it’s important to fit in with them. If you are underdressed in comparison, they may not take you seriously. If you’re overdressed, you’ll appear out of touch.
2. Stay On-Brand
You also need to consider your own brand, or the brand you represent, when deciding what to wear. If this is a presentation at a company where you work, you’ll want to wear whatever fits the company culture. For presentations elsewhere, you need to think about your industry.
For example, if you’re in the finance industry and giving a speech, it’s better to stick to finance industry conventions and wear something traditional and conservative, even if your audience is dressed casually. If you’re a 25-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a suit and tie may not fit your brand, in which case you shouldn’t wear it.
3. Make Sure You’ll Be Comfortable
You’re going to be standing in front of a group of people, and you may move around while giving your presentation. You definitely don’t want to be in tight clothes that constrict your movement or anything that has you sweating two minutes into your speech.
It’s essential that your presentation outfit is comfortable for you to wear and move around in. If you haven’t worn the outfit lately, put it on for a quick test run and make sure there aren’t any glaring comfort issues.
4. Dress with Confidence
It’s important that you wear an outfit that makes you feel confident. You don’t want to wear something that doesn’t fit your style and makes you feel awkward when you’re giving your presentation. That awkwardness will make it more difficult to project confidence, and the audience will likely notice.
Whatever you choose to wear, make sure that it’s an outfit you enjoy wearing and that feels natural to you. One trick on how you can accomplish this is wearing your presentation outfit at least one time before the presentation for your daily routine. By doing this, it makes the outfit feel normal to you.
5. Get Clothes that Fit Perfectly
When it comes to clothing, there’s nothing more important than getting clothes that fit you perfectly. A perfect fit can make mediocre clothes look great on you, whereas a poor fit can make the most beautiful and luxurious clothes look atrocious.
There are simple fit tests you can do to see if clothes fit properly. One of the most common is pinching fabric to see how much you can grab – the ideal amount is anywhere from 0.5 to 1 inch. Clothes should be fitted to your body, as loose clothing always looks bad, without appearing skintight.
The best way to get clothes that fit you perfectly is by finding a tailor in your area. You can hire a tailor to make clothes for you or to adjust clothes you already own.
There’s nothing like giving a presentation that impresses your audience, and that starts with choosing the right outfit. Keep the above tips in mind and you’ll pick out clothes that give you a professional image and help you better connect with your audience.