What should I wear for my presentation?
When you’re nervous about a big pitch, it can be the little things you get caught up on. How many times have you lain awake at night, wondering if the outfit you’ve picked out for your presentation tomorrow is suitable?
While the details of your appearance are less likely to affect the outcome of your presentation than whether or not you get your message across effectively, you still need to ensure that your choice of clothing is creating a professional impression for your audience. Perhaps more usefully, you need to ensure that you feel confident in what you are wearing. If you spend the entirety of your pitch worrying that your shirt is too tight or your tie too bright, you won’t be doing justice to your content. You need to feel your winning best.
So first and foremost, make sure that whatever you’re wearing is something you’re comfortable in. And as for the style of dress itself, we have one simple piece of advice: Dress slightly smarter than you expect your audience to.
If you’re pitching to a creative start-up audience who live in jeans and T-shirts, you could, for example, wear a blouse and cardigan if you’re female, or smart jeans with shoes and a shirt and tie if you’re male. If you’re presenting the financial reports to your boss’s boss, wear full business dress including jacket. If you’re not sure what your audience will wear, go as smart as you can. Of course, no one’s expecting you to show up in a dinner jacket, but it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
What do you think? Do you have any additional advice? Have you ever had any presentation clothing disasters? Let us know in the comments below.
m62's monthly newsletter
- Corporate Presentation Tips
- Visual Aids Gone Wrong
- Seven Aspects of Highly Effective Presentations
- Presentation Ideas
- Company Presentation, Brand, and Compliance
- Improving a Sales Presentation
- Presentation Tips that Suck
- Presentation Agency Selection
- Presentation Optimisation
- The Right Visuals
- Advanced PowerPoint Training
Angela Norton, Project Manager, Idis
What we liked was the m62 approach in terms of working with its clients to develop key messages and then progressing to the storyboard and design stages. It was clear that message was the most important element in the presentation, and the design element was created to support this.