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Dress the Part: 5 Fashion Tips for Business Presentations

May 29, 2015 / Blog audience engagement, power dressing, presentation tips, presentation wardrobe, Rick Enrico, SlideGenius

You only get one shot to make a first impression.

When all eyes are on you, you want to look presentable and professional in your audience’s eyes. Choosing the right attire engages your audience because it makes a statement about you and your purpose.

Here are important things you should consider when dressing up for that important event.

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Match the Situation

This is not the time for pulling off your personal fashion statement.

When deciding on an outfit for your business presentations, note its level of formality to decide where you should be on the casual-to-formal scale.

Keep any local customs in mind. You don’t want to be overdressed, but you also don’t want to offend by being underdressed.

Consider Your Audience’s Wardrobe

According to serial entrepreneur, Adam Toren, a little research always comes in handy in gauging how to dress in front of your audience. Always dress slightly better than the people you’re addressing.

If you’re delivering a presentation to executives, you can do no less than wear your best suit or finest dress. When speaking to a group in a casual setting, smart casual will do.

Just don’t overdo it or you’ll seem inept or out of touch with your audience.

Prioritize Comfort

Looking good is only the beginning. Conveying your message through body language is an important aspect of public speaking.

It’s hard to perform hand gestures or even stand when you’re wearing something uncomfortable.

How you dress affects how you’re perceived by your audience. To be an effective communicator, never compromise style over comfort so you can express yourself freely.

Avoid Bright Colors or Distracting Prints

The ball is always in the presenter’s court to keep the audience engaged. Your professional dress doesn’t have to be boring, but it also shouldn’t be distracting.

Don’t wear clothes with bright colors or distracting prints or logos.

Solid pastel colors are a safer bet over intricate patterns, especially when you’ll be recorded on video. Black and white is guaranteed to make you look professional without distracting your audience.

When worn well, simple clothes can make a better impact than flashy clothes.

Focus on the Fine Details

Closely inspect your clothes for even the smallest things like a missing button or a loose thread.

When presenting, a smaller group of people may notice it more quickly. A more intimate setting leaves you more open to close scrutiny.

Do one final check before leaving your room. Sometimes, you won’t notice a flaw until everyone else has.


First impressions last. The way you dress up takes up half of your presentation.

Take time to prepare your business attire and realize the unspoken language it delivers. Adapt to a mode of dressing that accentuates your style while recognizing its possibilities and limitations.


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Engage a Disinterested Audience Like a Presentation Expert.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 5, 2015. Accessed May 27, 2015.
Toren, Adam. “Professional Dress Doesn’t Have to Mean Boring.” Entrepreneur. March 06, 2014. Accessed May 27, 2015.