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What To Wear For Your Next Presentation

Friday, July 7, 2017

Glossophobia. Also known as the fear of public speaking. And many of us are deathly afraid of facing this crippling fear. Through our careers or even personal lives, we require having an ability to speak in front of people.

Let's face it, we are filled with nerves worrying about how we sound and look. Will I stutter? Trip over myself? Does my audience care about what I have to say? If I make a mistake, will they remember?

It's hard to put yourself out there. And when we do, we want to be seen in the best light possible. You will want to control as much as possible before and during a presentation to make sure things run smoothly. One thing that you shouldn't overlook, is your appearance. For those that want to be perceived as a polished professional for their next presentation, we have a great checklist for you.

This checklist comes from a book by Mary-Ellen Drummond called, Fearless and Flawless Public Speaking. The book helps people overcome unnecessary fears of speaking in public. Bring this checklist to your closet and determine a few outfits to knock your next presentation out of the park:


  • Wear jewelry that is simple and not distracting.
  • Be consistent with your jewelry.
  • Avoid jewelry that can be noisy and distracting.
  • Wear large earrings.
  • Anchor scarves and pocket-handkerchiefs.
  • Wear a belt for a finished look.
  • Carry a quality leather handbag or attaché case that is not too large.
  • Wear conservative ties.
  • Wear quality, conservative socks or stockings.


  • Wear quality shoes.
  • Select classic shoe styles over fads.
  • Wear shoes as dark or darker than your hemline.
  • Match shoe clips to the same gold or silver tone of your jewelry.
  • Keep your shoes polished and in good repair.


  • Select appropriate garment for the occasion.
  • Dress as well as the best-dressed person at the occasion.
  • Wear a jacked for power and authority.
  • Buy quality fabrics.
  • Buy classic pieces.
  • Select solid-colored garments.
  • Wear accent colors that enhance your appearance.
  • Select styles appropriate for your age.
  • Have clothes tailored for a good fit.
  • Wear your hemline at the knee or below.
  • Power dress appropriately; express your own style.


  • Use makeup moderately. Go to a makeup artist or attend a class on color, products, and application.
  • Have your nails manicured; avoid excessive lengths and bright nail polish.
  • Do not drum your nails on a table or lectern; it's distracting.


  • Wear a hairstyle that is neat and not trendy. For a business look, hair at shoulder length or above is best.
  • Avoid a hairstyle that falls forward into your face or long bangs.


  • Wear colors that make you feel good and ones that people compliment you for wearing. Have your colors analyzed by a color expert.
  • Wear darker colors for a more powerful look.
  • Choose bright solid colors for a television or media appearance.
  • Match a bright-colored blouse with a contrasting suit.
  • Select a color that supports the message you want to convey.
  • Repeat an accent color somewhere else in your outfit.

Tero Take

You might think that content is the most important attribute when it comes to public speaking. In reality, it only accounts for 7% of the messages you are sending. Only 7%. The other 93% comes from your vocal and visual properties.

Vocal is your volume, pace and expression you project. Visual is your eye movement, posture and body movement, gestures and facial expression. This is also where your appearance and what you are wearing comes into play. Visual is the biggest portion of the messages you are sending - a whopping 55%.

It makes sense to get that nailed down right. An easy way to increase your visuals is by thoroughly walking through the checklist above.

Good luck!

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