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What To Wear On Stage When Speaking

February 25, 2022

what to wear on stage when speaking

What should you wear when on stage when you are speaking?

The question of what to wear for public speaking on stage is more critical than I ever realized. Public speaking is no exception to the rule that first impressions count. The audience will make a silent judgment on you before you even begin speaking. If you make an excellent first impression, the audience will be on your side from the beginning. If you make a mistake, your audience will be distracted by the clashing colors of your outfit, regardless of how good your speech is.

Planning what to wear when giving a speech in front of an audience or on video involves many considerations.

what to wear professionally when speaking on stage

For instance:

Said, what you wear matters. I’m aware that many people would like to claim that “no, it doesn’t,” but it does. The fact is that people judge each other, and others judge you!

Typically, I would respond, “Who cares what other people think?” and I do believe that to some extent. However, I’m not so sure when it comes to my reputation. However, representing your brand in the workplace is essential.


The substance is king in public speaking. It’s impossible to get away with shoddy content only because you’re attractive. However, your delivery style is just as crucial as the content of your speech for two primary reasons: One is the impression your audience has of you, and the other is the self-confidence you gain from looking your best.

When deciding on your clothing style for speaking, keep these points in mind:

How do you want to be known? What kind of impression do you want to leave on the people around you? Your style and the clothes you want to wear should go hand in hand. Is there a dress code for a professional public speaker on stage? Is the attire something that makes you feel good about yourself? Is it possible to include a distinguishing element? Is there anything that truly reflects your personality?

man speaking infront of people
Be careful while picking your primary color, as there are many meanings associated with each flush.

If you are speaking in front of a black screen or backdrop, you’ll want to avoid wearing black clothing; if you’re on camera, you’ll want to avoid white dress because the light levels can mess with white garments.

Hair isn’t a big deal if you’re like me and have trouble growing it out. If not, think about how your hair will be styled, such as if it will be combed, unkept, tied back, swept-back, or left natural.

Your breath will likely be more pronounced due to the dryness of your mouth. Preparation is vital, so think about your diet in advance. I’ll always have some mentos on hand if I need to take a breather during a speech.

What kind of clothing should I wear while speaking on stage?

The message of your presentation may or may not be the same as your brand’s message, as previously stated. Since “everyone can become an effective speaker,” my brand message is too broad for a presentation. Because of this, my talks focus on sub-topics of the more significant theme.

Consider the country’s culture, the location, the industry, the firm, and the audience when choosing your attire, and dress accordingly. Smart or casual, street or corporate, ironed or rumpled? Smart or casual, bright simple, smartly intelligent (is there a difference?) skirt and blouse, dress or trouser suit?

One day I may be addressing a group of high-ranking executives about the importance of body language. That presentation would necessitate my attire to exhibit my body motions inherently. But on another day, I could discuss how to overcome the dread of speaking in front of many college students. I can wear whatever I want to that presentation because the dress code is less rigorous.

Spectacles: contact lenses or glasses with a beard – shaved, stubbled, or fully bearded

What jewelry and accessories are you going to wear? Will they have a positive or negative impact on the public
event – what is acceptable for the event in question

Brogues or sneakers; polished skin showing – naked or covered arms; high/low necklines; open/closed buttons are all options to consider for footwear. For pale complexion, deeper tones work best, whereas, for darker skin, lighter shades work better. For example, I’m a big fan of pink shirts!

Loose or tight-fitting clothing is just as important as the right makeup and clothing.

Will you wear a hat, cap, headscarf, or genuine cologne/perfume? What’s the odor? How much power do you have?

What look will give me more authority while also making me approachable to my audience when speaking?

How can a speaker best appeal to an audience? As long as you don’t look like you’re trying to stand out from the crowd, you’ll be fine. Figuring out what to wear when speaking on stage doesn’t need to be overly complicated. For example, a suit might be appropriate for the executive audience, yet a blazer might not be necessary for college students, so long as you’re dressed appropriately.

speaking on stage
What to wear when speaking on stage

Consider how your apparel will interact with your technology in addition to what’s already been said.

Will you be using a microphone? Avoid bands if the device is portable. Make sure your top is big enough to hold that little thing for a clip-on. Is it going to dangle from your ear? Earrings are a personal choice, so choose wisely. The battery pack is expected to be included. To avoid any difficulty or humiliation on the part of the technician, make sure your clothing can accommodate this.

What will serve as the scene-setter? Is this the end? “Which one?” Is there going to be a screen to look at? What shades of color can we expect it to emit? It’s essential to ensure that your clothes stand out, but not in a way that irritates the eye.

How are you going to climb up there? Make sure your footwear is acceptable for the occasion.

What will you be doing? If you’re sitting, what are you resting your feet on? Wearing clothes that aren’t only comfy and modest is a good idea when you’re in a position like that.

camera speaking
What To Wear When Speaking On Camera

Using video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype, or others, you have more control over the surroundings. However, when it comes to picking an outfit, there are still a few things to consider.

You need to figure out if you are sitting or standing. Make sure that your clothing is both comfortable and free of creases and folds when you’re in this posture on camera. What kind of scenery do you have in front of you? Your attire should stand out, yet not clash, as when you’re on stage. Refrain from using colors and color schemes that will seem bad on video. Among the camera’s favorite colors are deep amethyst purples and rich rubies, as well as turquoise, sapphire blue, emerald green, and golden yellow. Metallics and bright materials might disrupt the illumination. Plaid and fine stripes are two other textures and patterns to avoid.

Find An Outfit That Will Let You Feel Confident When You Are Speaking On Stage

Avoid dressing in a way that makes you feel self-conscious. Instead, look in the mirror and feel good about what you see. Look and feel your best by dressing in colors, shapes, and styles that you love. It’s nerve-wracking enough to give a speech without adding to the anxiety by wearing something distracting.

speaking in college lecture

Environment When Speaking On Stage

In public speaking, your surroundings play a role. For example, how can I know where you are speaking? Is there a hue associated with the occasion? For example, if you’re speaking at a Breast Cancer Awareness event, you might want to ensure that your attire is appropriate for the occasion.

If you are, you may or may not choose to wear pink, depending on your personal preference. In a situation when the stage backdrop is pink, and you wear an all-pink outfit, you may not stand out, especially if the performance is being videotaped.

Is the event indoors or outdoors? If it’s outside, a full button-down suit might not be the best choice because you’ll be sweltering. Alternatively, you might wear a short-sleeve button-up shirt with a tie or something more business casual if the dress code is a little more relaxed.

These are just a few ideas to get your mind racing in the right direction. If you’re unsure what to expect, go to prior years’ presentations or speak directly with the event’s organizers.

message of your speech
What Is Your Message When Speaking On Stage

You’ve given careful consideration to your style and comfort. However, remember that this is all about making a good impression on your target audience. What message do you want to convey with your attire for public speaking? This is the final and most crucial consideration. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is a perfect example of this. The fact that Zuck wears a T-shirt and hoodie most of the time is in keeping with his non-corporate, technical persona. But he realized it wouldn’t be enough for his appearance in front of an enraged (non-tech knowledgeable) U.S. Congress to answer inquiries.

As a result, he was dressed in a tailored dark suit and a conventional blue tie. Message: I’m not kidding around. So, what are some things to keep in mind?

Is your goal to fit in with your audience or to stand out from the crowd? Whether or not you’re a part of the group is up for debate.
What kind of impression are you making with your demeanor? Are you serious or funny? Are you professional or relaxed? Are you austere or humble? Are your jewelry and accessories distracting or noisy?

Choose your colors carefully, as each one has a distinct meaning.

You may want to utilize a significant prop, such as a yo-yo or a scientist’s lab coat.

speaking at a conference

Dos And Don’ts of what to wear when speaking on stage