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What Should My Presenters Wear?

Event Planners love details. Checklists. One thing you may not have thought to put on your planning checklist is to coach your presenters on what (and what not) to wear on stage. 

 
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When coaching presenters, make sure to explain the importance so they’ll listen to you. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That math multiplies when the first impression you’re making is to 700 people!

Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good

First and foremost, your presenters will perform well when they feel good. Remember when your Mom made you wear something SHE loved but you hated? You spent your school day squirming. You do your best when you feel your best, so don’t squash their personal style. 

Floating Heads

Feeling good matters, but not if the audience can’t see you. Have you noticed that most event backdrops involve some amount of black drape? If you don’t have a huge lighting budget, that black drape, mixed with a black suit, is a recipe for a problem. A presenter wearing a black suit, against a black backdrop, turns into a disappearing man on-camera. When you IMAG that presenter onto the projector screens, all you’ll see is a floating head swimming in black drape. 

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Front Row Seating

Black suit jackets aside, let’s talk about the lower half of things. Stages are TALLER than your audience, not shorter, which means your front row is looking UP at your presenters. Make sure they’ve considered this. Is their shirt tucked in? Are their shoes shined? 

Panels and Skirts

In the past decade, panel discussions have become more and more popular in lieu of keynote presentations. Panel members are typically seated with their legs pointed towards the audience. Make sure the ladies on your panels have planned accordingly. 

 
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Mic’d Up

Lastly, if your event audience is any larger than a few dozen, you will want to remind your presenters that their attire should be microphone-friendly.  Lavalier mics clip onto the chest and plug into a body pack transmitter that clips on at the waist.  Things like low necklaces can impede the mic itself, but the most common mistake is not having a secure, comfortable place to clip the body pack.  Remind your presenters of these things in advance so they can arrive prepared and ready to get mic’d up!  

 
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Telling presenters what to wear may seem difficult at first, but when you consider your good intentions behind the ask, it’s well worth it. 

If you can’t get these memos to them the night before, do what you can backstage before they take the spotlight to get those shoes shiny, those shirts tucked in, and ready for the camera shot! 

Best of luck out there!