Public speaking is hard enough, but it can be even more stressful when you don’t know what to wear for a big presentation at work. The key is to appear polished and professional, and dress in an outfit that makes you feel confident. Here are my best tips for what to wear for a big presentation at work.
Think about what makes you feel confident
A huge part of figuring out what to wear for a big presentation at work is dressing in an outfit that makes you feel confident so it adds another layer of confidence to the presentation you’re giving.
I can say that when it comes to work, (and honestly I don’t dress much different even when I’m not working) I feel my best when I’m in a blazer, simple blouse, and skinny trousers or a pencil skirt. If you look at my clothing and what I write about, you’ll notice that I’m often wearing some version of this outfit. This is what I call my “power outfit” because it makes me feel confident in my appearance, which is then reflected in my ability to clearly communicate.
Someone else might feel their best in a skirt and button down blouse, or perhaps a suit. Whatever it is that makes you feel good and flatters your body, dissect the different components and take note of them.
Take your usual workwear up a notch
When you’re figuring out what to wear for a big presentation at work, a good rule of thumb is to think about what you would normally wear to the office and dress up slightly from there. For instance, if you typically wear colored denim and a blouse or button down shirt, think about adding on a blazer or a tie for men. Similarly, for women, if you often wear flats and jersey dresses, perhaps opt for a dress with a little more structure and pair it with a higher heel.
The goal is to highlight how much time and effort you’ve put into the presentation, and this is reflected in your physical appearance as well. This is why dressing more formal than you normally would on a daily basis is important; it reflects your effort.
Follow the third piece rule
I talk about the third piece rule a lot, and this is the perfect place to put it into action. A jacket automatically pulls an outfit together and makes it feel more formal. If you’re trying to keep your business casual attire professional, wearing a jacket will always help. This doesn’t have to be a blazer, but adding a third piece such as a jacket, belt, tie, necklace, vest, etc. makes the outfit more formal.
Make sure you’re wrinkle free
One of my biggest pet peeves is clothing with wrinkles. Wrinkled clothing appears unprofessional. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t like to iron, (I don’t like it either) get yourself a little steamer. Coming in wrinkle-free clothing is an easy way to ensure that you don’t look like you rolled out of bed, and that you have put hard work and preparation in for your big presentation.
Struggling with what to wear for a big presentation at work? The bottom line is that you want your hard work to be reflected both in your presentation (you’re going to kill it!) and in your professional appearance. Dress in an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself and the presentation that you’re delivering. Good luck!