What to wear for a video presentation

Here’s a fluffy – but surprisingly important – subject: what should our subjects wear when appearing in a company video? No matter how good the sales pitch, demonstration or interview is, distracting or inappropriate attire can ruin it.

From watching many good and bad interviews on video over the years, I think that my primary advice would be to wear whatever would be appropriate for a formal presentation in front of an audience. You’ll know what that is for your industry. It doesn’t have to be a business suit (including a tie for men), although that’s probably the sensible option. I’ve seen plenty of technical demonstrations by engineers wearing company-logo polo-shirts who look every bit as much the part as they would in a suit. However, smart and tidy is always the order of the day, and that includes hair as well as clothing.

Solid colours are a safe bet. Fussy patterns can be distracting, and really tight patterns can create ‘fringe pattern’ effects in videos that can be maddening. Logos (unless they’re the company’s) are a definite no-no. Search for something like ‘engineering sales presentation‘ on YouTube and flick through a few to note what the presenters who impress you at first glance are wearing.

If I can give one tip to in-house company video directors though, it’s to ensure that the presenter or interviewee knows the day before that they’ll be taking part in a video. Otherwise, you’ll just find them dressed for a completely different day’s anticipated activity; they might be uncomfortable, and you might not get the image you want for the business.