Dress: Master What You Wear... Looks Can Persuade

How do you feel when people respect you? Dress and grooming can give you a double edge as a public speaker. They will go beyond just helping with your respect.

First it will give you credibility and respect, class, and help establish you as an authority. Your clothing says who you are. That is if you wear the right clothes and wear them wisely. That’s probably the obvious.

A less understood effect is the one it has on you. This more has to do with men. Women seem to have this down already. How do they feel when they have a new outfit? What comes from inside them that they didn’t already have?

If you said nothing, you were right, well, kind of right. There is something inside that you didn’t have before that ignites with a new outfit. It has a number of names it goes by. In medicine and nursing, we call it the placebo effect. It could be called empowerment. Perhaps a number of different names.

New clothes have a power on us. They can make us feel something. The way we dress has an effect on others as well.

The effect our dress has on us has to do with the force that actuates your mind. It is renewed or energized with the feeling you get from new clothes. The way you dress will affect the way you perform.

Bottom line, it works.

    The question then, how do we dress for given circumstances? What clothing is best? What about grooming? What’s hot may not necessarily be the best way to go. What’s cool may need a pass too. Is expressing yourself, being yourself, going to help you persuade someone? Is it going to help you speak better?

    In addition to dress, there is the matter of grooming.

    First let’s start with some grooming ‘how to.’ The obvious, comb your hair, brush your teeth, and bathing are the norms of our society. They are what is expected.

    Additionally we will look at some dress for success how to matters. It would be best to check out some of the sites dedicated to that subject.

    Use the key words, Dress for success. We will be including some links in the future upon researching several.

    However, a few tips can save you from humiliation and failure. An emergency dress and grooming kit should always be kept with you. Keep one in your car, one in your desk or locker and one in your brief case if you speak publicly on a regular basis.

    I can’t begin to number how many speakers I have run into that carry extra shirts when booked for long days.

    The key is keeping it compact and discrete. What kind of things would you want to have? WE have made an emergency grooming supply list so you can print it out. It will be at the end of this article.


    Not only clean, but touched up with a nail clipper. A word to the wise here. Nothing is considered more inappropriate than leaving fingernail clippings on the floor where you clipped them. Use a little discretion and use the restroom to take care of this grooming need.


    Attention needs to be given them as well. Not everyone will notice but the one it makes a difference to could make or brake a deal. Think of it as best dressed nails. Incidentally this relates to a basic concept learned in nursing 101. Your cuticles are a “portal of entry” where disease can be passed from one to another. If you push them back, you lessen the chance.


    In recent years discussion has arisen over daily bathing. The controversy has more to do with soap and the drying affect on the skin. Basically, daily bathing is considered a standard practice. Although water is wonderful, soap is necessary to help cut through the body oils. Additionally a wash cloth is needed to help get rid of the dirt and old skin on our bodies surface.

    Although many have grown up learning the basic of washing hands after using the restroom. It is surprising how many still do not. This has a double reason. One is you own cleanliness and self protection. The other is protecting others. Protecting, how so?

    In 2005 a local restaurant in my neighborhood, part of a national chain, was demolished. It had been the site where several people got hepatitis from the food. Some types of hepatitis the body can cure its self of. Others the medical sciences are still learning about.

    To date, there are Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, TT (Transfusion Transmitted) SmA1, and a John Doe that is being investigated. Type F is actually a variant of type B so it doesn’t count and more. The good news, you can’t get all of these from failure to wash your hands. The bad news, there are theories that if you get combination's of some, you increase risk of cancer and cirrhosis. Bottom line, wash your hands.

Hand Shake and Health

    Related to hand washing, hand shaking. If you have a cold, kindly decline shaking hands. Your guests will gladly thank you. More germs are spread from hand shaking than kissing.


    Brushing and Flossing

    A challenge when out to lunch and supper. Numerous products on the market will help with this. Floss can be obtained in a credit card looking container. The importance of clean teeth is in the smile.


    This falls under personal choice. As a nurse I have to say, your body was made to sweat. Why would you not want it to do what it was made to do? Are there health implications with antiperspirants? Well, numerous studies are out to lunch. Consider options to keep from ruining a suit by sweating up the arm pits.

Shaving For Men

    The controversy of the various types will continue on for all time. Do what works best for you. If you are prone to razor burn or nicks, get a aseptic stick. This is one of those emergency items you should have with you. You can get at most drug stores. They stop the bleeding.

    Current culture for young guys is to not shave for a few days. Perhaps this was born in Hollywood. It speaks poorly of you. Every day, you should look your best, be your best, and do your best. If you take a day off from grooming, what other things might you let slip.

Shaving For Both Sexes

    If you use shaving cream, the beard needs to be moistened first. It seems when warm to hot water is used, it moistens the hairs and makes them easier to cut. Best time to cut, in or right out of the shower. If you’re a guy and the mirror fogs up, Shaving cream, just a spot of it, rubbed on the mirror till it is clean will work as an anti-fog agent.

How Often?

    When working 16 hour shifts in the hospital, I even carried a shaver with me to zap the 5 o-clock shadow. Why. I not only represented my hospital and my profession, peoples lives depended on what I said. I wanted all the credibility I could have. A clean shaven guy will win hands down. Dress and grooming need to be kept a priority regardless of the circumstances your in.

    Do what ever it takes to dress and look your best.


    Make sure that they are polished. For comfort, I recommend the insole replacement. Not only for comfort, also for health. This is the orthopedic nurse speaking. If you have sore feet, try them. If you have to stand for a long time, try them. They are wonderful. Few patients in the hospital get my care that I don’t recommend them. Reason one, comfort. Reason two, protection and joint health. The part of dressing you don’t see is just as important as that which you do.


    You may like the team, but don’t make them your signature dress. White socks just don’t look good on a well dressed man in a dark suit. For those that do, did you know there could be a serious reason they do? For some the dies in the socks cause infections in the toes. This is serious in a diabetic patient. Solution, get socks with white bottoms and colored tops.


    For those who have glasses, cleaning is a constant problem. Word of caution here. If you use facial tissue, as most do, you risk putting micro scratches in them. Best to use a lens cleaner. Of all things, don’t use your tie. It of all things is most likely to leave a noticeable scratch. This I know from experience.

    Let’s suppose you forgot it. What can you do in an emergency? We have put some of the main ideas here. Please e-mail us with any suggestions we could add to our list. Please include any brief stories with how they were used too.

Blood stains

    Usually a guy problem. What do you do when you get it on your collar and have limited resources? There is a simple solution and it is usually readily available.

    Before I tell you what, let me say this is also a problem women sometimes have too. With guys, it is nicks from shaving that open just at the most inopportune time. For women, it is a different situation and a little less controllable. Either way, it is a concern in the event it happens.

    It actually happened to a woman resident doctor at the hospital where I worked. In other pages on this site you may have noted encouragement to develop the art of listening and not jumping to conclusions. It can save you a lot of future embarrassment.

    So I went to the resident who was going to be captive in the hospital for some time. Not only captive, but wearing a dress with a stain that would result in everyone she had to deal with trying to be kind and telling her about the stain.

    So her reaction, not listening to me as if I were the first, rather, irritation as if I were the 100th person notifying her. Quickly reassuring her of my awareness of how many times she was told, I told her a little known secret.

    Salt. Specifically and sodium chloride solution in general has incredible corrosive effect on metals like steel. It will literally eat through them. It does it by a process we call rust. Rust is basically the breaking down of the iron in the metal by oxidization.

    Hmmmm, if it oxidized iron, why not the Heme (Iron) of hemoglobin. So a simple solution of salt and water can rescue you. This assumes your clothing can handle the solution.

    With all the exotic fabrics available today, make sure and clear this with your dry cleaners first, preferably before an emergency.

    In my experience, a little salt on a paper napkin, then some water till it dissolves, will get out considerable blood stains. Least out of my nurse whites.

    Bottom line, a readily available option to save clothing and save the day.

    Have other save the day home remedies, please e-mail them to us.

Dress and Grooming Resource

Speechmastery.com: The Dress and Grooming Resource

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Lets Connect View Jonathan Steele RN Holistic Nurse's profile on LinkedIn
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