May 29, 2007

Does your footwear put you in the right frame of mind?

Check out Scott Adams' Footwear Theory of Motivation. I think this is true of clothing as well as shoes. . . I know that certain items of clothing affect how I feel.

For example, when I wear a particular skirt (gray, mid-calf, goes great with black boots), I feel very businesslike and professional. Another skirt (white cotton, a-line, pastel images, goes great with sandals) makes me feel like sitting in an outdoor cafe drinking white wine on a summer day. I'm not a big shoe collector, but I do find that some shoes make me feel sporty, some make me feel like getting out and having fun, while some make me feel like a frumpy old lady (why are those shoes still in my closet?).

How do your clothes make you feel when you are giving a presentation? It's just as important to prepare your appearance as it is to prepare your content.

If you're wearing something attractive that makes you look professional but feels tight or itchy or otherwise uncomfortable, you're going to be distracted and not fully present for your audience. Shoes, in particular, are critical when you might be standing in front of the audience for anywhere from an hour to six or eight hours. The last thing you want to be thinking about is pinched feet or a sore back from improper footwear.

This seems too obvious to mention, but in reality, people are frequently distracted by their clothing or jewelry onstage. So make that extra effort to dress in a way that's both appropriate to your audience and comfortable enough that you won't be tempted to tug at your waistband or push up the sleeves that keep sliding down.

If you have an outfit that feels great and you look great in it, by all means wear it to your gig! It's an easy psychological boost. Just make sure that you're in control of your clothes rather than your clothes controlling you!

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4 comments. Please add yours! :

Unknown said...

I have a really difficult time speaking when I am wearing a skirt and high heels.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Yeah, my hazmat suit isn't very comfortable either. I had to stop wearing it. Footie pajamas are nice, though!

Unknown said...

Pajama footies? How cool is that. Thanks for the idea. That gives me a great idea for an advert piece for a "come as you are" promo. I can picture it now...the church entry floor mat, hairy legs, bunny ears slippers. Oh yeah. We are soooo doing that. Where do I send the money for the creative consulting?

Anonymous said...

Never really thought about it...but that is a good question! ;)

Hope you are doing well!

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