How-to Dress for Success in Your Video Presentations (Part 1.)

How to Dress for Success in Your Video Presentations (Part 1.)


When working with clients to coach them on their video presentations, I emphasize the importance of taking extra care to present your “best self” – to ensure that the way you “look” meets the expectations of your target audience and builds your credibility.

You see, everything counts. Everything your audience sees on the screen either builds your credibility, or detracts from it. You will create a far more powerful impact if you take extra care when choosing your background, how you frame  your video, what camera angles you use, the makeup you wear – and the topic of this article – your styling and wardrobe.

It’s About Them – Not You!

Once you have clarified and defined who your target audience is, you need to put yourself in their shoes. You need to present an image that is congruent with the expectations of your audience. Your wardrobe, jewelry, and styling must add to your authority and credibility in your viewers’ eyes.

Think of yourself as an actor in a movie. You need to dress “in character” so that they subconsciously “get” who you are and what you are all about. First impressions are crucial. Check yourself on the screen with the volume on mute. Do you look the part? Does your image look like the sort of character that your audience can identify with and trust?

Dressing for success is a big topic which I am going to split into several articles (see also: On-Camera Styling Tips for Men and Women (Part 2.) . This article is about universal rules (for men and women).

Everything your audience sees on the screen either builds your credibility, or detracts from it

General Do’s and Don’ts
(well mostly don’ts actually)

Clothing to Avoid:

  • Any clothing that makes you look bigger – including baggy clothing and anything with horizontal stripes. The video camera already makes you look heavier than you really are – so don’t make it worse! Watch video: Dressing for the Camera What Not to Wear on Video
  • Fabrics that wrinkle easily like linen
  • Silk because it rustles (causing sound problems), and shows sweat stains quickly – icky!
  • Hats, unless they are absolutely necessary for the identity of your character (because they cast shadows and obscure your face and most importantly your eyes – the most expressive feature on your face)
  • Trendy fashion clothing – unless you are promoting fashion (the latest fads will quickly date your video)

In general, choose classic clothing styles that won’t date.

In general, choose classic clothing styles that won’t date

Colors to Avoid:

  • Bright reds, oranges and yellows – they tend to glow or bleed on screen
  • Black – it absorbs light and can be too dark for most video work
  • White – it reflects light, and can dazzle the viewer. If you have pale skin, white makes your face look underexposed. If you have dark skin it can make you look darker
  • Green – particularly if you are using a green screen for background effects
  • High contrast patterns, pin stripes, checkered patterns, polka-dots, corduroy and herringbone – these all create a wavy rainbow-colored pattern called a moiré effect on film.

In general, the best colors to use on video have a dull, matte finish. This goes for everything, including your background objects. Try wearing earth tones, browns, greens and blues – or pastel and light colors. Check that your colors work well with your background setting; they should neither blend into, nor clash with your background.

Bright Shiny Objects

Unless your business requires it, avoid wearing anything large, flashy and sparkling. Dangly earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches can sparkle under the lights and can be distracting for viewers and detract from your message. They can also cause sound issues too. Choose subtle jewelry with matte finishes where possible.

Eye glasses reflect the glare of the lights. There are some sprays you can buy to dull the shine on your lenses, but it is preferable to go with contact lenses when filming. Glasses hinder your audience from seeing your eyes, and your ability to make good eye contact with the camera.

Now Get Filming!

Remember that the video camera “sees” things differently than the human eye. When dressing for your video presentations, the general rule of thumb is to keep it simple: choose classic clothing styles in solid colors and pastels, with no fine patterns or distracting jewelry.

Unless you are in the business of selling clothing, you want your viewers to spend more time looking at your face (and hearing your message) than staring at your clothes.

Helping you look good online with Video!

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Bianca Te Rito is the founder & CEO of – Video presentation coaching to make you look great on video. With a unique mix of business savvy, combined with a professional background in TV/Film production (spanning 20 years) – working in front of and behind the camera. Bianca provides an exclusive, personalized virtual consulting service for business owners, start-up entrepreneurs, thought leaders, authors, public speakers and VIPs to help them present themselves, their product, service or brand message to their target audience in the most effective way possible on video.

Bianca works virtually with a variety of clients from all around the world, including professional service firms, established business executives, rising stars, VIPS to best-selling business authors – who want to deliver effective online video presentations.

Need help? Don’t know where to start? Reach out to Bianca here. Bianca’s mission is to help you look great on video!

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Posted in Look Good Online with Video by / December 29th, 2011 / 1 Comment »

One Comment

  1. Beth says:

    Awesome stuff, as usual!!!