An argument for wearing jeans at a presentation
As marketers, we understand that a first impression says something. Wearing a suit says something. Wearing jeans and an ironic t-shirt says something as well. When I make presentations, I tend to wear jeans, and a button down shirt. Sometimes I don’t even tuck in the shirt.
As a person who does things in social media, I want to project an image that I just came from work. I didn’t wear a suit when I came up with the theories that I present, so it would be out of character for me to wear a suit to present the ideas.
I only thought of this because of a blog post saying that Jeans are never appropriate when presenting. I disagree.
A creative director once told me that how one looks in a creative presentation matters. He typically wore jeans (sometimes ripped) and an ironic t-shirt of some sort. He did this on purpose.
The people who generally watch the creative presentations wear suits. He said, “If I look like them, why would they buy an out-there idea off me?”. In other words, if he stands up there in a suit presenting ideas he came up with that are ‘creative’, he should look the part. And the part isn’t a person who wears suits.
Now think about a presentation. Sometimes a presenter needs to walk in a room and let people know right away that what they do all day is different from the people who are watching the presentation.
First impressions matter. A bold declaration like “Jeans are never right in a presentation” assumes there is only one first impression that matters. If you know who you are presenting to, then maybe Jeans will help make you look suitably different (pun intended).