As a former reporter/producer navigating America’s top newsrooms to a seasoned media trainer and presentation coach, I’ve lost count of how many times clients tell me they’re nervous when presenting to a packed room or even when giving an update at a meeting with their boss. My first suggestion is always the same – practice. The second is to invest in your appearance and make sure the way you look reflects the way you want to be perceived.
Whether you’re a C-level executive, a rising manager or starting out in your career, you should always be thinking about how your dress mirrors your image. You are your brand!
Here are my top three pieces of advice on dressing for success:
I live by the mantra, “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” My personal “perception is reality” story happened when I was a young writer and producer at WGN-Channel 9 in Chicago. My boss repeatedly told me I would never be an on-air reporter, due to my lack of on-camera experience.
So what did I do? I dressed like a reporter every day for three long years. When both weekend reporters called in sick one Sunday, guess who was asked to do an on air report? I was a TV news reporter there for 10 more years, largely because I dressed for the job I wanted. Take my advice and do the same.
Mary Gannon is an executive vice president and head of media and presentation coaching in Chicago.