What your shirt color says about you to an audience

Picture it: You’re getting ready for an event where you have the opportunity to speak. You open your closet and find the most perfect outfit to wear for the occasion. What do you choose?

A black suit?

A red dress?

Whenever you have a chance to be seen on stage or on-camera, remember that colors go a long way in stimulating and engaging your audience. Our minds associate certain colors with certain characteristics. For example:  

  • Red = power, confidence
  • Orange = energy
  • Yellow = optimism
  • Green = approachable
  • Blue = knowledgeable, business
  • Purple / Pink = creativity, fun, welcoming
  • Brown = warmth, friendliness
  • Black / Grey = all about business
  • White / Cream = softness & light

This may all seem obvious, but how many times have I gone to my closet and simply chosen all black as my outfit of choice for a speech or meeting? Sooooo many times! When I later see myself in photos or videos, I think: “Geez Johnny Cash – could ya have warmed up the look a bit?” I always have to remember to choose colors that pop…colors that help me stand out to my audience or fellow colleagues. Why? Because color changes everything when we’re trying to engage an audience.

Here’s what I always keep on-hand to prep for a speech or video:

  • Two great lipsticks in red and raspberry
  • Two pairs of jewel-toned shoes (wine and teal, at the moment)
  • Three bright sweaters – to break up all the black I love to wear
  • Light-reflecting jewelry – multi-faceted pieces that add color and don’t make noise
  • Cream blouse, shell or tank top – to add some softness to whatever suit I choose
  • Two multi-colored scarves to add visual interest and color near my face

Is it time you re-evaluated your wardrobe to prep for your next big opportunity to get on stage or camera? Get to it! Play some good music, try everything on and make sure to eliminate anything that is “joyless” from your wardrobe. Joyless clothing has no place in the wardrobe of a confident and capable speaker!