Projecting a good image: Wardrobe and personal hygiene says a lot about us
Do not be around loose and poorly dressed, Sancho, a disordered outfit reflects a mismatched soul. Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)
It's not about being superficial, it's about reflecting our security with a good looking.
On one occasion, I signed up to attend an "ISO 9000" workshop. It was very important topic to master those concepts in the workplace back in 2007. Receiving that instruction maked me very excited, we were all in a classroom, large, with tables and chairs. The classroom were equipped with projectors, sound equipment and acrylic blackboard. Everithing was going OK till the instructor arrived, my first impression of him was a very bad one. He looks like a beggar: worn dress pants, disheveled, he had this huge dirty jacket and also carried a briefcase, a package, a plastic bag and a folder full of papers. My disappointment was immense, I just wanted to left the room, demand the refunding of my money and walk away.
However, he began to introduce himself. He had a very confident way of speaking so I'd decided to wait a few minutes more. His fluency in conversation and mastery of the subject was so good that 30 minutes later I was unable to remember how unpleasant he looked. That experience taught me how important is to create a balance between the oratory abilities and a good appearance. That equilibrium makes us consistent with the context in which we develop.
If we are going to dictate a workshop, make an exhibition or a project presentation, we have to direct the attention to the message to be conveyed. Our image can play against our goal, drawing the attention to our outfit (whether due to lack of personal care or excess of it) causing unnecessary distraction for listeners. Here are some tips to avoid this situation:
Formal or Informal
It will depend on the type of event we are attending to. A great academic event isn't the same than subject explanation to the classroom. A workshop dictation in an open place is far different from the same workshop but in a closed place with air conditioning. Every circumstance defines the type of attire to be used and the degree of formality of the situation.
An academic thesis presentation is a formal event. In this case, it is expected that your wear formal outfit: full suit in case of gentlemen; a dress or dress pants and an elegant shirt in case of ladies.
There is no rules to established the type of clothing you must wear. Use your logic instead. If you analyze what type of event your are attending to (formal or informal) you will know what clothing style would be appropriate for it.
According to gender
Which type of clothing is masculine or feminine depends of the local cultural. There are countries where men wear skirts and it is accepted. In Scotland for example people does not get distracted, anoyed or surprised when seeing a man wearing a skirt.
In some other locations of the world where it is not common for women to wear pants. Doing it implies beeing stares by everyone.
In a formal event, such as a academic thesis presentation, the message of our speech should catch the whole atention of our espectators. If we decide to wear a piece of clothing that culturally isn't expected for our gender to use, we will provoke a distracting factor. The jury and the public will not be attentive to the development of our speech.
Sexy, tight, revealing clothes are not appropriate either. It breaks the protocol compleatly. Nobody would be attentive to the message to be transmitted if the speaker is dressed like that during an academic context.
Imagine you are in a small place, a closed one with almost no ventilation. The person who are speaking to you have halitosisl or any other disgusting corporal smell. It is a matter of time for you to start feelign unconfortable. Personal hygiene plays a fundamental role in the social life, it is a sign of self-estim and also it shows respect for the people aroud you.
Public speakers must ensure they have a pretty good hygiene, their clothes must be neat. There is no need for you to have expensive clothes but to be properly washed and ironed enough. Our body must be clean too: properly bathed, teeth brushed, etc. Hygiene habits gives pleasent version of ourselves to the people we meet with. The surelly will be gratefull for it.
If for some reason you keep having bad odors despite you hygiene routines is very likely you need a doctor.
If you are abled to buy expensive clothes and luxurious accessories, then do it. But remember, a good speaker never try direct the attention to the clothes but to the speech. That's why with a hygiene routine and ironed clothes we would be well presentable to convey any message to any public.
- Let's prepare to speak in Public.
- Speak well in Public
- The role of gestures and mannerisms when speaking in public
- The impact of vocabulary in oratory
Thank you for reading.
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This post was translated by the Spanish translation team of @lit. Thank you @alcidescadiz for taking our services and helping the community in taking another step toward a greater understanding of one another.