What to Wear When Giving a Presentation


Casual attire has become the norm in most workplaces over the past few decades. However, certain situations require you to wear ‘business-like’ attire, such as presentations or to represent your company. That old pant suit may feel comfortable as an old glove, but this calls for bringing out your best. So how do you determine what to wear when a special work occasion arises?

If you make presentations at least a couple of times a year, a nice business suit is a good investment. Get something in a classic style and color. You will be able to wear it for several years. Purchase a white or pastel shirt or blouse to go with it.

If an occasion to dress professionally only comes up infrequently, you may be able to get away without spending money on a suit. You can wear nice business clothes instead. Women can usually wear a skirt, dress, or pants, a blouse, and a jacket or cardigan, while men can wear dress trousers, a button-down shirt, a tie, and jacket. Avoid bulky fabrics such as tweeds and brocades as they can be hot and difficult to move in.

Beware sweat stains! Yes, we are talking about silk!

Keep it simple if you wear jewelry. If something seems a tad much in the tie, jewelry or belt accessories, leave it at home as it will distract your audience.

Speaking of accessories, avoid the bling. You don’t want to sound like the tin man with his rust can as you move around the stage. And the same goes for wraps, oversized scarves, hats and dramatic eyeglass frames. You want to be the focus, not your bling.

Keep your look professional right down to your feet. Wear a well-fitting and not-too-trendy pair of shoes in a neutral color. Make sure they are always in good condition because, believe it or not, people do notice when shoes look worn.

Your hair should be well-groomed and your fingernails should be neat and clean.

Whether speaking in front of people or a camera, sit up straight. You will look alert and engaged. Slouching will make you seem bored. Be glad to be there! A smile gives the impression that you are friendly and approachable. Of course, if you are talking about a solemn topic, don’t look giddy.

Need more help? Attend of Dardis Communications’ Leadership Presentation and Images Seminars!You will learn to exude professional attire and overall presence.

Most importantly, remember to breathe.