Six Tips for Building an Effective Speaking Image

Whether you’re speaking to six people in a conference room or 600 in an auditorium, you want all eyes on you. I’m mean, let’s face it you’re not up there for your health! Here are just a few tips to help you create a compelling, engaging image.

1. Do be physically comfortable. As a speaker you need to be able to move around and make gestures with ease.

2. Don’t wear anything distracting. Eyeglasses should have an anti-reflective coating. Avoid loud jewelry and ties, overly ornamental belt buckles and most of all, long dangling earrings. Your goal is to draw your audience’s eyes to your face. You want them to pay attention to what you’re saying.

3. A matched suit is often a good choice for speaking. A matched suit gives out messages that you are authoritative, knowledgeable, credible, and formal.

4. Research your venue. Don’t wear anything that will clash with the surroundings or other speakers on stage. Research your audience. What is their age range, gender and what is important to them.

5. Never “save” an outfit for a speaking engagement. Always give it a trial run to see how you feel in it and how others react to you in it.

6. Always wear a smile!

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3 comments on “Six Tips for Building an Effective Speaking Image

  1. Thanks for the tips Dana! I agree with the “suit” idea, it just makes for a professional look, and after all, that is what we are going for! I have an important engagement in January and I plan on using your tip number four and check out my surroundings before planning my outfit. Your blog is always a good read :-).

    Tracy
    Dulcet Style

  2. Thanks, Tracy! Usually there isn’t a huge issue with clashing with your surroundings, but you never know if you’re going to be speaking in front of a royal blue curtain or something like that. I must admit that I should heed #4 a little more. Once I spoke for a luncheon and the podium was situated in front of windows that backed to the highway. It was loud and super distracting to me!! I would have requested the room be set up differently if I’d known.

  3. Thanks for the advice Tracy– especially #4!
    I am in the art gallery business and seldom wear a suit. Projecting a contemporary image is sometimes challengingI Loved your seminar at Nordstroms last Saturday–I left with some great ideas.

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