5 essential considerations before you step on stage.

Jane Vandermeer | Executive Contributor | Lifestyle

Don’t let your fashion faux pas distract from your ‘nuggets of gold’.

Because every woman who wants a seat at the table deserves to stand out and shine in her own unique way.

Having worked with women for decades now, I observe many women who have created really clever businesses and are ready to share their wisdom on the speaking circuit.

After years of working from home, there are so many benefits to working from home, however our sense of ‘casualness’ has changed our perspectives. 

There are so many elements to consider before you step onto that stage.

It’s so easy to forget that all of us are on display. This is that time when our audience is looking at our entire outfit. Not like our zoom days, when our footwear doesn’t matter!

Don’t let your fashion faux pas distract from your ‘nuggets of gold’.

Whether you are speaking to a room of 25 or an auditorium of people, you are the centre stage. We are here to hear you! We need to be able to see you.

Your clothing selection needs to be working for you not against you. Today is not the day to try out a new outfit or shoes! Today is the day to wear an outfit that you know you walk with confidence. Self assurance. No fiddling. No distractions. You are more than ready and prepared to share your knowledge. You own the room!

Here are my top tips to consider before you step on stage.

1/ Colour – I would seriously consider not wearing black on stage. I get it. Many people love black. But the effect of black is you fade into the background. This is your time to shine. 

2/ Shoes – Keep in mind, the audience can see your entire outfit. Are you defaulting to your ‘old favourites’? Are your shoes scuffed? Do they have price or size stickers still on the soles? Are they black and slightly chunky when the rest of your outfit is refined? Do they cut off your ankles and create ‘cankles’? Therefore shortening your legs? Is it time for a beautiful nude shoe with your outfit?

3/ Pantyhose – There are so many fantastic shades, textures, designs and weights (or deniers). Be very careful when you are selecting skin tone. There is definitely a time and place for a great nude tone but once the shade heads towards tangerine, it is time to bid it adieu.

4/ Cardigans – They have such a place in our lives. Cozy. Snuggly & full of joy. However, leave them at home (or in the car) and certainly not when you are presenting. This is absolutely not the time to bring your cozy cardyyyyyy with you. This is the time to have something much more tailored. Now is the time to have a jacket that commands an air of authority. You are the expert after all. Your audience is excited to hear your pearls of wisdom.

PS, when I say cardigan, I mean your average, cozy, often chunky cardigan. Not stylish knitted jackets. 

5/ Makeup. Now I fully understand that we all feel differently about makeup. We also all have different degrees of ‘too much or not enough’ However again, you are the expert. You need to show up, not only step into that role but own it.

Again whether you are speaking to a boardroom or an auditorium, lighting is harsh. Whatever level of makeup you would normally wear, you could double!

Magic happens with those lights. Suddenly we fade. Particularly for those of us who have fair hair, eyelashes & eyebrows. Actually speaking of those fair souls, you would more than likely look much better with charcoal or chocolate eye makeup rather than black. However, that is another article!

As a professional stylist of a million years, in real time around 30. I would wholeheartedly suggest getting professional help. For most of us, the skills required to be an engaging and magnetic speaker are learned & refined skills rather than natural. Or perhaps you are confident at projecting your voice but not when it comes to your presentation.

My last piece of advice is. Dress like the level of women you want to be, not the level you are right now.


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