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    Presentation Attire

    Comfortable Sheath Dress and Minimal Accessories



    Lower heel (might actually prefer a more conservative pump!)

    Lower heel (might actually prefer a more conservative pump!)

    Dress: Target

    Necklace: NY and Co.

    Belt: Charlotte Russe

    Heels: Old, don’t remember

    Like the outfit? See more details here!


    I love presenting, let’s just state that from the start! What’s not to love… you are the center of attention, you get to be the expert on the subject at hand, and you get to convince everyone that your idea is the best! I know, it makes me sound a little childish, but let’s be honest. What actor/marketer/motivational speaker doesn’t have some kind of ulterior motive when they stand up to present? It’s a rush! Being back in school affords more opportunities to do “formal” presentations. Most of my day-to-day presentations are much less formal, and often involve lots of computer mock-ups, so I end up sitting near a keyboard instead of commanding the room from a podium. So, what does one wear for a presentation, and is there any rhyme or reason to the presentation dress code?

    First, wear comfortable shoes, especially for the long presentations! It is distracting to see people rocking back and forth or shifting on their feet because of obviously uncomfortable shoes. For women, I would also recommend wearing a slightly lower heel, since you won’t be paying much attention to where you’re walking. For example, I saw one girl’s heel get caught on a slight snag in the carpet, almost toppling her during the presentation. It completely threw her off her game, and for the rest of the presentation, she was looking at the floor, trying to avoid snagging her heel again.

    On a related note, wear well-tailored clothing. Again, it’s very distracting to see a blouse that’s about to pop open, or a suit jacket that looks constricting. Make sure you can move in your suit, so that hand gestures and pointing to the presentation materials don’t look or feel awkward. I realize that some people don’t wear suits on a regular basis, so I recommend spending some time “breaking in” a suit to feel comfortable.

    Finally, dress the part! I’ve talked before about how I sometimes wonder why we buy into the illusion of “business formal”, but the fact is, we do! You don’t want to be the one person in a room full of suits wearing jeans and a t-shirt. To command authority and improve the perception of expertise, formal business wear is the first step. It also helps you look and feel more confident, which will translate into the speaking and body language areas of the presentation.

    Getting dressed for a presentation is just the first step to success, so check back tomorrow for some additional ways to make a successful presentation! Like the outfit? See more details here!


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    2 Responses to “Presentation Attire”

    1. [...] Alright, I know I just did two posts about presentations last week, but I’ve got speaking on the brain! We had case presentations in one of my classes last night, and unfortunately, it spurred me to post once more about presentations. I truly believe that public speaking is a non-negotiable skill in the corporate world, and it was a little disconcerting to see some of the presentation behavior from my MBA classmates. I started my presentation well by dressing the part, which many of classmates chose not to do. However, I want to get into a few more tips on the speaking, since I’ve already addressed appropriate presentation attire. [...]

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