How Many Like How You Look? By Mark Davis

In a survey of 100 people, How Many Like How You Look?

Makeover time! Do I trust you? I’m looking you up and down when you come on stage.

I am judging you. Do your clothes match? Do they look new, old, or hand- me-down? How are your shoes? Do you pay attention to them, or just your hair. Actually looking at your hair it’s really all over the place. Is that a style, or do you just leave it to find its own way to sit?

Men and women look at their image in different ways.

Women have always understood that their image is always being reviewed and critiqued, at work, on the train, in the street. And mostly, its how other women are judging them that is their priority for keeping their image standards high.

In the last few years, since the advent of the metrosexual and the Hipster, Men have taken a lot more care of their appearance, realizing that people judge. Men have taken to following the trends of footballers and celebrities who have   planned their look, grown beards and begun using products like moisturizer and hair waxes and gels.

The appearance is the first thing we judge as an audience, before we hear  you speak.

Men judge, and women judge.

So if they are going to, let’s give them something worthy of making their comments about.

I want you to consider how you would dress for a group of 16 year olds who are homeless, unemployed and have abandoned  school.

What would you show up in for a boardroom meeting on the 43rd floor of a city skyscraper for a Fortune500 company?

You have to teach some parents at the local basketball club how to do CPR and First aid. What do you wear?

And in the train station you are training a group of train drivers. (I had to do it, it’s the only real joke I’ve been able to rhyme with the word  training!)

You’ll have to consider the following of course

Hair – long, short, up, down, topknot, beard, 3-day growth,  what  is  your style?

Makeup – SPF moisturizer, lips, eyes, cheeks, humidity, sun, indoor, outdoor.

Clothing – the audience, the reputation, the expectation, the age, the environment, the weather, the sun.

Shoes – the beach, the boardroom, the floor, heels, flats, safety boots, flip- flops, sneakers, boat shoes or gumboots.

Jewelry – is it dangerous, is there equipment, are there rules, is it in the  way, are you moving, bending, watch, chain, ears, nose, environment – hospitality, surgery, indoor or outdoor.

So much to remember, but when you get your outfit right, training at each different location the next time will be easy.

There is no one ‘look’ fits all in training. Unless you’re in the same classroom every day with people of the same age in the same industry in the same topic.

What you wear needs to make you feel confident, calm, comfortable. It’ll then help you be “in” your body when you’re being a speaker in front of your audience.

Here are a few things that might help you with your planning.

Colors. Pick up a copy of the book Color Me Beautiful, or Color for Men. They’re in the health section of the bookshops usually, and they will help you get in touch with your season, and the style and character of the clothes that you should wear, to match your skin tone, color, shape, size etc. I did this about 10 years ago, and so I know a lot of clothes that I just have to stay away from… way away. Think ghost-like  (scary).

Fabrics. If you’re going to be on a stage, under spotlights, you want to stay away from elements of clothing that are likely to create distractions… i.e.: creases, lines, bends, twists etc. So stay away from linen, ‘too’ crisp cotton shirts or blouses, and instead go to fabrics that will move with you. Especially if you want to accentuate or hide your body shape, softer fabrics are always more flattering. Suits can hide a lot of flaws.

Makeup. It needs to be matching your style. If you don’t usually use makeup, go shopping with a friend, and try a few things. Even if it is just for your training role, you may find it useful to be a bit larger than life when you speak; you don’t want to fade into the shadows.

Hair. It frames your face, and it focuses your students on your eyes and mouth. Unless it’s all over the  place.

Your hair will have a big impact on the impact of your session so again, find a friend, guys – usually a female friend – and get to the best hairdresser you can find, and create your look. I used to try really hard to make my thin, light brown hair stand up, with gel and wax, but it just looked greasy and even thinner!  When I shaved it all off, I got much more positive feedback from all members of the audience, and it helped me shape my wardrobe also.

Nails and hands. Everyone needs moisturizer, and if you can get to a professional for a manicure, even better. Men, at least trim those nails from bear claws to something neat and tidy. Dirt under your nails is a sure sign of a lack of personal grooming.

People judge – if you don’t pay attention to something small like that, how do you pay attention to the big things you’re supposed to be teaching?

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