As an Executive Communication Coach, my job is to remind clients that when presenting, everything communicates – how you look, how you sound and what you do with your body. Mary Lou Andre, a nationally recognized wardrobe, dress code and corporate image consultant, got me thinking about this after reading her excellent article: Is Hosiery History?
Her advice on this business appropriate accessory reinforces how important clothing is in communicating respect for yourself and others. The way we present ourselves is our personal brand. The way in which we build trust and rapport with listeners is first conveyed through what we are wearing.
When you ask a group of listeners what’s the first thing they notice about the speaker, they’ll often say in unison,”How they look.” Before the speaker even opens his/her mouth, impressions are being formed about whether they are confident and project to the right level of gravitas.
For women, this means paying attention to detail. Conveying a strong ‘executive presence’ means wearing clothing that is stylish, well-fitted and thoughtfully assembled. When done properly, I believe it helps us “speak with confidence.”
Monica Murphy is a senior coaching partner with The Speech Improvement Company.