In my personal opinion, what you wear means everything on-stage. I was referred a Tedx video by one of my colleagues, and although he did crack a few jokes, I couldn’t take his appearance. He was wearing about 5 different colors, spoke extremely fast, and had one of the most awkward stances I’ve seen on stage. You just can’t look ridiculous.
On the other hand, there was this video.
Now, this attire is completely understandable because the speaker is apparently still in prison, yet he delivered a speech that resonates so much in the African American community.
Nonetheless, TEDx said there are a few questions worth asking like “who am I speaking to? How’s the audience? Is it on the resort island of Bali or is it in London? That makes a HUGE difference.
Will you be filmed? If so, avoid wearing white or jet black.
Will you be using an over-the-ear microphone? Avoid earrings that bang into the attachment – ultimately making loud, clanking noises. Have a clean shave (for men)!
If you’re using accessories, avoid using flashy bracelets that would give off a reflection to those around you and in front of you.
What will the stage look like? Consider wearing something off-colour that sets you apart from the background. If there’s a red background, choose a color that doesn’t blend in. The audience loves bold, vibrant colors.
For men’s fashion, be sure your clothes are neatly pressed. I BEG YOU! If you don’t care about the way your clothes are, I can tell just how disorganized your mind is. I’ve worked with men before who look downright disgraceful; in addition, those specific individuals have the most personal problems. True story.
Am I saying wear a suit? Probably not…..if you’re giving a Tedx on an island, but I would definitely consider a vest + slacks combo. I feel that’s the most comfortable outfit and you can even dress it up or down. Is a tie essential? In my opinion, no – unless it’s a formal outing. Again, these little things are very important on top of knowing what type of audience you’re speaking to.
Ray Lewis knew that he would be doing a Tedx at Stanford University; therefore, he wore a gorgeous suit and tie because the majority of the crowd was Gen B. If you’re going to wear a shirt and baggy jeans in front of Gen B, not only will you lose all respect, but they’re going to label you very fast before even saying your first line.
On Friday the 16th, a business associate and I will be doing an interview in terms of fashion and how it equals success….so stay tuned for that! Hopefully this helps those out there.