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How Appearance Affects Your Credibility

How Appearance Affects Your Credibility


1. Dress appropriately for the audience.


  • This enhances credibility. You should be a half-step up from your audience.

  •  For example, if you are speaking to students who are wearing tennis shoes, t-shirts and jeans, you should be wearing slacks, conventional shoes and a conventional shirt or casual pantsuit or dress. 

  •  If you are speaking to the business club members who are wearing suits and ties, you should be wearing a dress shirt, suit and tie or dressy pantsuit or dress with jacket. 

  •  If you are speaking to the motorcycle club members who are wearing leathers, you should be wearing causal jeans and shirt, no tie.

  • Look at yourself carefully in the mirror, front and back.  There should be no spots on your clothes or your tie. No wrinkles in your clothes.

  •  If you are wearing hose, ensure that they are new and free of holes or runs. These things distract the audience.  

2. Shoes:

  • Wear comfortable shoes.

  •  Be sure your shoes are polished. Check the soles for holes.  If you are sitting down, the bottoms of your shoes will show.   Check for rundown heels or scuff marks.

 3. Hair:

  • Be sure your hair is clean, neatly combed, preferably parted on one side and/or pulled back.  This makes you look likeable and competent. 

  • Keep hands out of your hair.  If you are in the habit of pushing your hair around, pin it back so you will not do it while you are speaking. This distracts the audience from the speaker. 


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