Dress the Part

Recently an artist preparing for his talk, asked me: “What should I wear?” as if there were a special “Artist Talk Costume.” I don’t think there is such a thing but if you come across one, let me know.

If you’re pondering the question of what to wear for your next talk, remember that the most important aspect of your outfit is that it helps you feels like the empowered expert that you already are!

So, even if you wake up feeling insecure and anxious on the day of your talk, dressing the part can help you step more easily into your role. It's a trick many actors use when preparing to perform.

A few guidelines about what to wear include:

  • Don’t wear something brand new that you’ve never worn before. You need to try it out at least once to make sure the buttons stay closed and it works as advertised!
  • Do “dress up” more than your audience. In fact, your audience expects you to look the part and dressing up makes it look like you care. In other words, looking like a million bucks can only work in your favor.
  • Rehearse in the outfit you’re going to wear. It’s no fun to discover that the dark shirt shows sweat stains more than you thought.
  • Wear something that has both a pocket and a collar if you're going to be using a wireless microphone. If you’re unsure, ask your host who will be providing the microphone and ask your sound guy to meet you ahead of time.