Presentation Appearance

As much as you want the audience to like you for your mind, people will make quick judgments based on your appearance. You might wear a suit if you are addressing to potential clients or investors. Dress more casually when introducing yourself to a new group of direct reports, to signal that you’re accessible. In Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, Guy Kawasaki suggests matching your audience (he calls that dressing for a “tie”): If you underdress, you’re saying, “I don’t respect you,” and if you overdress, you’re saying “I’m better than you.”

Presentation Disposition

The moment people see you, your disposition should prepare them for your message. For your content to ring true, do you need to come across as passionate? Humbled by the challenges ahead? If you’re announcing a layoff, be somber and not smiley. If your talk is upbeat, chat with individuals as the group gathers; shake hands if you’re meeting for the first time. No matter what tone you’re trying to establish, be available and sincere.

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