What Not to Wear at Your Next Speaking Engagement

Becca Nunes

Author: Becca Nunes
Marketing Coordinator

What Not to Wear at Your Next Speaking Engagement

You know what they say: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Image and appearance matter, especially for a visual medium like video. We have put together a short video to help show clothing as it relates to being on camera and on stage: what works, and what doesn’t. We hope these tips will help you at your next presentation!

One, wear a garment with pockets or a belt.

When giving a presentation to a big group, or are part of a panel, chances are you will be wearing a lapel microphone.

  • A lapel microphone is a small microphone that clips onto a garment of clothing near your mouth, typically the front of a shirt and is attached to a transmitter by a thin cord.
  • Best practice to is attach transmitter to the back waistline on pants, a belt or be placed in a pocket.
  • If wearing a dress, the transmitter can be attached to a bra strap depending on your comfort level.
  • The idea is to have a place to put the transmitter to allow for a seamless look.
  • There is always an option to hold the transmitter. This just doesn’t offer the cleanest look and doesn’t allow you to be hands-free.

Two, wear minimal jewelry.

  • Large chains, chunky necklaces, and earrings all have the potential of making noise.
  • Although minor, these little sounds will be picked up by the microphone and cause a distraction.
  • Best practice is to wear more delicate jewelry that does not make noise or rub against garments.

Three, know your stage set.

  • It’s important to know beforehand what your backdrop and stage colors are going to look like.
  • Generally, you want to avoid textures and patterns. Certain patterns display very busy on screens.
  • When being projected on IMAG or streaming it’s best to stick to more solid colors or bold, distinct patterns without blending into your background.

Four, wear breathable clothes.

  • Stage lighting can be intense and it’s not a secret that everyone sweats.
  • When it comes to giving a presentation, no matter how seasoned a speaker you are, adrenaline hits and the sweats happen.
  • The best practice is to dress in breathable materials such as cotton.

Five, wear comfortable footwear.

  • Don’t feel pressured to wear shoes outside of your comfort zone.
  • Especially if you tend to pace while on stage.
  • Stick with shoes that you feel confident in.

Six, no hats.

  • Hats are going to be a hard no while on stage.
  • Because of the stage lighting, the hat will cast a shadow on your face and will not translate well on camera.
  • Rather, leave your hat in the green room or at your table.

In the end, know yourself and wear what you feel good in. The better you feel, the better presentation you’ll give.

We leave you with this last tip, make sure to give yourself time to prep and keep in touch with your event coordinator.