If you’re anything like me the first thought is not the content of what you are going to deliver, but what you’re going to wear. Ok, so maybe that’s just me.
The key thing to remember in any of these speaking situations is to anticipate your audience, client or interviewer and dress one notch above what they are likely to be wearing.
By doing so you are cementing your authority, your expertise and your confidence in the situation and you will be more capable of the task at hand.
It’s the clothing equivalent to a good hair day. You are unstoppable. I liken it to being able to wear that favourite party tutu when you were a little girl. Whenever you wore it, you felt different. On top of the world. You just did.
I’m not suggesting you pull on a tutu next time you’re asked to speak to a group of 150-plus business professionals but I want you to think about what items in your wardrobe make you feel like twirling.
It’s THAT feeling you want to bottle whenever you’re speaking to six or 600.
I’ve had the privilege this year to learn the tools and techniques behind becoming a successful speaker from Quantum Leadership Group’s Carren Smith.
Carren’s Art of Public Speaking seminars not only help you transform from a mediocre to magnificent speaker but she very much walks her talk. (Don’t worry, I’m not up myself, just demonstrating my new-found self belief that Carren helps every participant uncover … trust me, mine was buried deep down below the usual unattended baggage)
Not only is she amazingly talented at telling her story and helping others tell there’s, she has developed an ideal speaking “uniform”. Her hair and makeup is impeccable (so important when people are focussed on you and what you’re saying). For clothes, Carren successfully balances a “speaking uniform” of tailored pants with floating tops. It’s a combination that says style and confidence, but I’m approachable. I care. We get a further glimmer of her personality from key accessories (a necklace and bracelet or a statement cocktail ring) … and her killer shoes!
Think about your personal brand. How would that look and feel if you were on stage delivering a keynote to 1000? Would your inner-two-year-old’s party confidence come out to twirl and wow?