A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that felt oddly foreign to me.
I had the pleasure of heading out to do a live “Speaking to Influence” leadership communication training for a client (something I've missed very much), and in getting ready to go, I put on… pumps.
As soon as I stood up in them it was as if my feet looked up at me and said, “Hey, what are you doing? What's with these high heels and squishing us into pointy toes? Are you mad at us or something?”
I confess, in the “new normal” of virtual engagements all day every day, over the course of the last year my footwear repertoire has been reduced to a rotation of flip-flops, fuzzy slippers or sneakers — and the sneakers are only if I'm going to exercise or run errands.
Maybe that sounds all-too-familiar, but what are the rules for the do's and don'ts of what to wear in the virtual world?
Heck, for some people, working from home has normalized working and attending meetings in pajamas after waking up just in time to click “Join Meeting.” (Note: I do NOT recommend this.)
Remember the importance of Verbal-Vocal-Visual alignment when speaking? Your verbal channel is your message content (content, word choice, fillers, etc.), and it needs to match up with your delivery, i.e. your vocal (e.g. intonation, speed, pausing) and visual (facial expressions, gestures, clothes, hair, etc.) communication for you to be seen as credible, a cornerstone of establishing your leadership image.
The way you dress – even online – speaks volumes through your visual (“non-verbal”) communication. And while we may espouse and state beliefs about not judging a book by its cover, the simple fact is that people do exactly that, unconsciously, even before their brain consciously processes the nature of what they're specifically judging about how you look.
Does it LOOK like you feel
- Confident or uncertain?
- Approachable or standoff-ish?
- Engaged or disinterested?
- Respectful (and respectable) or dismissive?
The first rule of marketing is that people need to know, like and trust you before they'll do business with you or buy what you're selling. And their first instinctive judgment will be based on what they see.
It all plays to establishing your personal brand – whether as a business owner or employee, remembering that that you are the company’s brand ambassador every time you're on a video conference.
That's why in today’s episode, Francesca Zampaglione, Founder of Dressed Smart™ LLC, demystifies the relationship between the closet and the camera. She shares lots of easy but important tips about how to look your best, and explains why the way you dress changes the way you feel and what it communicates about you.
If you're looking to up your game in the virtual world and recognize the simple fact that presentation matters, tune in for great tips about what to wear and what not to wear on virtual meetings or webinars in order to be your authentic self while projecting confident, competent leadership.
(And you'll learn what I discovered is my own regular fashion faux-pas on video calls!)
And of course, once you've put yourself together to knock'em dead in video conferences, you still need to make sure that your physical setup does you justice so that you look, sound, and feel like a million bucks every time. Download the complete Virtual Influence Progress Checklist for FREE here and see for yourself.
Now, where are my flip-flops…