How Do I Dress for a Presentation?

That’s a question I get a lot.  And unfortunately, the answer differs for men and women.

The one rule for both sexes is ask.  If you’re not sure how to dress for a presentation, ask someone who knows the audience.

“I”m going to be speaking at the board meeting next week. How do people dress for those meetings?” Or “I’m going to be speaking at a your conference, how do people dress for these presentations?”

If you’re not sure, then men can simply dress a half step above what everyone else is wearing. If everyone is wearing golf shirts, then put a jacket over your golf shirt. If everyone is wearing jackets with open collars, then put on a tie.

For women, choices are more difficult because much of the business world still has a double standard, expecting women to dress nicer than men.  Also, women’s clothes are more complicated than men’s clothes. 

In general, we recommend that women should wear tailored, more conservative clothes to presentations. 

Here’s a link to a nice discussion of women’s business attire.

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