How to Present Your Best Self

woman conference room

How many of you have spent hours, if not days, preparing a speech or a presentation? So much time and effort goes into the preparation of a project. That same consideration should be given to how you present yourself.

I suspect many of you are in positions of leadership that require you to speak or present your product, perhaps before large crowds or around a table, all eyes and ears focused on you. Your personal appearance adds credibility to your message.

Recently, I attended an event of over 6,000 people from all over the globe. It was an exciting and interesting opportunity to be in the mix of all that diversity. The event kicked off with a high-energy band which set an exciting tone for the evening. Speakers and various presenters followed and it was clear these presenters spent a significant amount of time preparing and practicing their presentations. Every one was excellent; their messages inspiring.

I wondered, though, how much time and attention some presenters gave to their appearance. Even though they spoke or performed well, some didn’t appear to have given the necessary consideration to their appearance. Unfortunately, research supports that we make visual judgements about people in seconds and being in the lime light makes everything more noticeable. Poor fitting clothes and figure flaws can shine bright. I hope the information I am sharing with you will be helpful as you plan your presentations.

1.) Clothes need to fit your body. Tailoring is a must so sleeves fit, trousers are at an appropriate length, and dresses have a flattering length. Ruffles add volume so consider where they sit on your body. For example, If your frame has a larger belly, it is not a good place to add volume. Gentlemen: trousers should sit two fingers below your belly button. Not under your belly.

2.) Undergarments help clothes lay smoother. The “girls” are to be positioned between the shoulder and elbow (middle). Hit the lingerie department as you can find undergarments that will help smooth the bumps and bulges.

3.) Fabric is key. Quality clothing will last longer and wear well. Often cheap fabrics won’t lay well or can be clingy where it isn't flattering.

4.) Paying attention to detailcan make all the difference in looking well-groomed or sloppy. Polished shoes, wearing a belt, ties that complement the belt, and panty hose. Oh no! I know some of you are cringing at the thought of putting them on!

5.) Lines and patterns are all part of the visual encounter. The size and placement will draw the eye to that area. For example, a small person wearing large prints will look overwhelmed. A large person wearing small prints will look bigger. Everything needs to be in proportion.

Take a look at the whole picture. Check out the back side before you leave the room. Be your personal best. You are worth it!

Yours in style,

Kathy Sazama

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