In this video I share:

  • Cute does not always mean comfortable (sadly). About the time I forgot this, at a high price to my speaking experience…
  • How does what you wear help you to connect with your audience? Are you distracting the audience from your speech?
  • Will what you are wearing look good on video or in photos after your event? Tips for making the most of the media from your speaking gig.

Adapted transcript of video:

Hi there. I'm Michelle Barry Franco. Let's talk about what to wear for your next speaking event. So little personal story here. I found the cutest, most awesome shoes and was so excited to wear them at my next speaking opportunity. So I'm standing there on the stage wearing these awesome shoes that I have been waiting weeks and weeks to wear, and I am totally distracted from the audience and totally absorbed in the pain in my feet because these darling shoes, which felt tolerable while I'm walking around the shoe store and even while I walked around home, were not tolerable over the few hour period that I needed to wear them for this day.

So that's the number one thing I want you to think about when you think about what to wear. We're going to talk about three things, of course, but the first is comfort/how awesome do you feel in it. By awesome, I'm going to talk about both. How do you feel inside while you're wearing these items and how do you feel like you look in it? So, yes, it matters that they're darling cute shoes and that you feel awesome wearing them from the outside. You think they look awesome. Great. Or that you love the color of that new dress or whatever. Absolutely wear colors, fabrics, shapes and styles that feel great to you, that's a great choice, as long as it also feels really great to be in there, to wear them over a multiple hour period because you need to be thinking about both so that you can stay totally present and in service of your audience. That's the first one.

The second is connection. How does what you're wearing help keep the connection strong with your audience? So this doesn't mean you have to dress like them. You always want to be yourself, even more yourself as a speaker. I'm a big advocate of that. But if you are wearing shorts and a tank top and flip flops and they're all in banker's outfits, they're going to try to make sense of that and it is going to distract them from listening to you. So if, in fact, you're wearing that because you want to show them how they can make financial investments in a way that they can live their life like their own vacation, then your outfit might make sense, right? It's an amplifying aid. But otherwise you want your outfit to not be a distraction, to just be one more data point that easily processes as they are learning from and being inspired by you. So keeping the connection with your audience while still, of course, maintaining who you are and what feels great on you.

Third, think about media. So ideally, you're getting some photos and video, if possible, from the speaking event. Every time you can, you want to be grabbing those from this kind of events. So, you want to wear things that are going to look good on video and on film. So if you're going to put these photos on your website, you want the colors that you're wearing to work well with your website, to certainly not clash with what's on your website. So that's one thing to think about.

You also want to think about, if you're doing video, there's something called … I think it's called the Moiré effect. I'm not sure if I have that right, but this is where really small patterns, like lines and very, very small patterns can make people dizzy as they're looking at those on video. So if you're wearing something with that kind of pattern, people are not going to be feeling so great watching you on video and you don't want that to happen. You want people to watch the video. Just think about your pattern and color from the media perspective, okay?

So next time you have a speaking event, of course, wear something that feels awesome to you, that you really feel like you look great in, but keep these other things in mind, too, so that you can take that video or/and photos and you're excited to share them far and wide so that this speaking event can actually serve for months and years to come.

All right, I hope that's helpful to you. I will see you next week with another tip. Take care