Wear medium to dark colors. Dark colors are more authoritative where light colors are more approachable. If you opt for a tie, wear something in yellow with a foulard type pattern. I would avoid red, as it might be overkill.
2. Suit or Blazer?
For a more conservative look I recommend a suit. To not be too conservative or formal, consider a blue shirt, in a solid or pattern design. If you opt for a jacket with slacks, I recommend a blazer, not a sportcoat. Be sure to wear a nice dress slack in a dressier fabric.
Be sure to wear a tee-shirt, v-neck if wearing an open color and a crew neck when wearing a tie. Over the calf sock are a must. When sitting, you do not want your legs showing.
Be sure your briefcase is nice and clean. I recommend a leather type case for a dressier look.
I know it sounds silly, but have a nice writing pen, particularly if you use it during the presentation for any reason. Remember it is the details that define distinction.
4. Nonverbal Communication
When you stand to begin your presentation, keep you jacket buttoned. As you move into the session and you want to relax a bit, you can unbutton the jacket.
Sit straight while being introduced. Not stiff but do sit more erect. Avoid slouching.
Maintain good eye contact. When someone ask a question focus on him or her and listen so you can respond effectively.
You can pause occasionally instead of giving an immediate response, even if you know the answers. This says non-verbally that you are giving thought to what they are asking.
5. Verbal Communication
The biggest mistake that people make is that they do not have a strong opening and closing. Most know their content inside and out, where they appear insecure are in these two areas.
Have a STRONG open and closing. Consider opening with a story that you can tell that relates to the topic and the audience, or use personal story, again, as it relates to you, the topic and audience.
Close STRONG as well. A simple way is to be sure to give your audience a “homework” task. In other words, give them something to do or think about as they leave the meeting.
Hope this helps you communicate a professional, competent image. To learn more about Presentation Skills, click here. We conducted these for ESPN and they increased 1000% within two days. You can too!
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