For the majority of Americans, first impressions are everything and presentations are just like job interviews when it comes to appearance. You have worked hard preparing for and rehearsing your presentation and you want your appearance to be of the same high caliber.
Spend time choosing and preparing your attire, your audience will be the first to judge you and half won’t care, but the half who do will think you a joke. Think about your overly casual college professors, you know that they know what they are talking about, but you question the information because of the attire. The rule of thumb in preparation is to over dress, you could always loose a jacket or tie if you arrive and feel it’s too much. Choose accessories such as ties and for ladies, jewelry that are complimentary and not a distraction such as noisy bracelets or earrings far too big for your ears. Distractions also include cluttered and comical prints such as cluttered print, brightly colored distracting ties and excessive pocket chains. For ladies excessive or brightly colored make up, cakey thick base makeup, hair pieces such as clip in feathers, colored (purple, red, yellow) stockings or leggings. It is understandable that ties and makeup is a necessary part of life, but you want to ensure that you remain the expert and not the clown.
In addition to choosing your wardrobe, you also want to make sure that it is well pressed and not wrinkled, that you wear the clothing appropriately, if there are belt loops that a belt is worn, and that if possible tuck the shirt in. If tattoos are exposed and can possibly be covered please cover tattoos, shoes should also not be a distraction. Ladies have enormous choices in shoes which is a blessing, however shoes should be appropriate for an office setting. Attempt to choose shoes that have a moderate heel, low or no platform, and are an appropriate color. Gentlemen, please choose moderate and professional shirts that are not a bold print, or a bright color.
For those who are afraid of public speaking, a power suit could be empowering to your confidence. I have seen people solider on through a presentation because they have boosted their confidence enough to begin and finish their speech. Find a suit that inspires your confidence enough to be an excellent speaker!