2015 is nearly here. Wow! And what comes with the new year? Planning and review. Which means conferences. And, with conferences, when you are a woman in leadership, that likely includes presentations.
In any situation, you have only 90 seconds to create a good first impression, according to Presentation Magazine. So as you stand in front of your audience, you need to ensure you are giving the right signals. You need to “Dress for Success on Stage”.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit Marriott’s headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, and share my ideas on dressing for success on stage. It was so much fun checking out their amazing facilities. Thank you to the Marriott modern essential & extended stay brand management team for having me! You are a delightful and inspiring group.
The following tips are some ideas I shared. They are laid out in a general sense, so they are applicable for every woman in leadership:
1. Stay Consistent With Your Corporate Brand. Presentation Magazine suggests listing five adjectives that describe your company’s brand and seeing if your look matches that. For example, Innovative means up-to-date, and International means you might want to not dress head to toe in, as the author puts it, Marks & Spencer!
2. Prepare Three Looks. Ideally your presentation wardrobe consists of three looks according to this Forbes article. The three types are The Full Fig, which is your full blown presentation look. It’s likely a suit or dress but if it isn’t -it should be- or at least look expensive. The second look is the Upscale Casual look.
The Upscale Casual look is for conferences; for example, at a resort, where the audience is dressed more casually, with an emphasis on casual and comfortable. For men, it might be a sport coat, dress shirt, no tie, and high-end jeans or trousers. This translates to a casual Friday type look for women where you might wear quality jeans, blouse or shell, and fashion jacket, or an equivalent look.
The final look to prepare in your wardrobe is the Among-the-People look. This look is for when you are speaking to a very casual audience, and need to go “native”. This is the audience that may be wearing ripped jeans, and t-shirts. If you look too formal you risk not connecting with them. In this case you could choose a pair of high-end jeans, casual shirt, and fashion jacket, or any equivalent look such as a casual dress and cropped jacket.
Now let’s put it together:
3. Keep your look simple, clean and not too busy. Wear a color that flatters you. You are the expert and you want the focus to be on your message, not the outfit.If you are unsure of what color to wear go for blue. It looks good on nearly everyone. Continue Reading →