The first business presentation is your chance to shine. Killer business idea, innovative presentation and quick wit aside, you have one very important business to take care of before heading there.
You guessed it. They say first impressions last—this is especially true when it’s time to secure funding. Now we’re not suggesting that they’ll not pass you over based on your designer shoes, but presenting yourself well can determine their judgment of you.
But how do you go about it? There’s a lot to consider before you make the clothing choice that could cost you your dream venture. Let’s take a look.
Be The Best Version Of Yourself
Since, your ‘million-dollar’ idea is not sold yet, try to go with the vibe of a venture capitalist or private equity event. But that doesn’t mean you have to let go of your personal style. Instead, tweak it to show off the best elements. Polish your already existent style and go for what you think is the ideal version of it. Of course, you will have limitations (such as no leopard print leggings), but the more character you put in your outfit the better.
Gauge The Leader’s Style
It’s 2016! There’s no hard-and-fast formals-only rule, thanks to the hundreds of different work cultures that have emerged. Every industry, even every company, has its own standards of dressing. Sure, if you are going to be a tech entrepreneur, you might be required to dress formally at least when you are about to pitch. Even in the times when non-conformity has shown us the beach wear in offices, the serious standards of dressing seem to earn better points when it comes to investors. Search online for how the capitalists like to dress at different events to get the idea. This will give you a fair of idea of the liberties you can take—and to what extent you need to primp yourself.
Keep It Simple
Whatever look you’re going for, it’s important not to take it too far. You don’t want to be trapped in the “trying too hard” mould. Stick to basics—a crisp blouse, your best fitting pants, a chic blazer. There’s no going wrong with these staples. Avoid flashy items— even a broach could be distracting and throw you off the game.
Choose Your Hues
Sometimes, color can be the first thing people spot on your outfit. At a competitive entrepreneurial event, it’s best to keep the colors rich, yet muted. For instance, pick a pastel peach over a bright red, and a cream over yellow. Be very careful of how you match colors as well. The safest option is to pair a dark or medium colored pant or skirt suit with a light colored blouse. You could even stick to neutral or grayscale; they’re always in fashion. If you’re going for something less conventional, make sure that you use complementary colors, instead of contrasting.
Don’t Let Down Personal Comfort
You don’t want to give them an idea that you spend some major time in search of clothes and accessories. Thus, simpler you go and less layers you put on will make you the most comfortable. Don’t wear an impressive layer if you don’t completely know the feel of it. At a crowded event, an impressive scarf can make your neck warm and sweaty. Use the items that your body is familiar with so that you can act yourself when you pitch on.
While statements might take the attention away from your presentation, wearing good brands come highly recommended by experts. Heather Jennings, fashion retail discounts observer at ClothingRIC.com has found that wearing a defined well finished design by a brand lets people, see you as a person with well-calculated choices. Someone! Who can actually take on the important position and make decisions.
As for shoes, stick to sleek, sensible footwear like a pair of mid-heel closed-toe pumps. If your outfit for the day can go with sneakers, pick a pair of neutral colors.
When it comes to your bag, you don’t need to worry much. Get all the important things in your favorite one and make sure that it will give no struggle when you will want to find something urgently.
Get Your Groom On
When it comes to presentation, the way you groom yourself can be very telling. Pay attention to every detail, from head to toe. Start with a simple, neat hairstyle that keeps your hair away from your face. A ponytail or bun works best. For women, keeping the makeup absolutely minimal: a base, some blush and a natural lipstick is just fine. Putting on some liner and mascara is a good idea, since there’s going to be a lot of eye contact. And of course, who wouldn’t like to see a person who seems more prepared.
Success Is In The Details
Think we’ve covered it all? Well, to really nail the look, you’ve got to look into the finer details. Never show up to a meeting in creased or ripped clothes. Steam or iron your outfit and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before wearing, to ensure minimal creasing. Make sure your pantyhose or sweater is not ripped, torn or missing a button. Don’t wear an overpowering perfume, but don’t risk B.O either; a mild deodorant is just right. Lots of people who will not directly interact with you at an event may still form an opinion and it might help you or not, later on.
Wear Your Confidence
Look, when it comes down to it, no outfit is going to make a good idea look more compelling, if you don’t own it. That’s why your comfort and conviction are of top priority. So once you have your outfit all planned, try it on and listen to what your body and your instinct tells you. If you must, switch a few things around until you are absolutely ready to rock the ensemble.
And once you do, there’s pretty much nothing stopping you from acing the event/meeting. Trust that your hard work and determination—not to mention, impeccable style—will pay off. Good luck!