by Mr. Spruce
New year, new you, right? For many of us now is the time to make, and possibly break, some New Year’s resolutions. Whilst it’s tough to know what 2015 will have in store for you, there’s a fair chance that you might be thinking about that new job, the best-man's speech that you have coming up, or any number of formal or informal engagements. And when the big day arrives, you’ll assuredly want to put your best foot forward.
Paying close attention to how you look is one of the most important keys to success. After all, your grooming not only determines how you’re perceived by your audience (first impressions do last), but knowing that you’re looking your best can also help to give you a vital confidence boost. With that in mind, here’s a couple of top tips to help you groom for success.
However long you usually spend grooming on an average day, at least double it for public speaking. A rushed job not only means cutting corners when it comes to your regime, it also means you will be unnecessarily stressed, which may end up sapping your style if you're sweaty, shaky and under-prepared. It might sound obvious but allow yourself plenty of time to get ready and arrive at the venue on time.
This should be common sense, but don't get your hair cut, or try out a new style, the day before or even the same day as your public-speaking gig. Haircuts can go horribly wrong, so spare yourself the potential agony of embarrassment by getting it trimmed at least a few days before you need to look your best.
Of course, your hair should be washed, dried and styled as you would normally on the day itself. This is not the time to experiment! And beware of using too much product. This may end up backfiring on you, especially if you tend to overheat under pressure. Ever got sweat mixed with hair gel in your eyes? Exactly. Not a great look.
When it comes to facial hair we definitely don’t subscribe to the fallacy that shaved is the only way to go for a smart look. Neatly trimmed beards, moustache’s, or goatees are more than OK, provided that you’re keeping it tidy and avoiding the straggle. If you’ve got a bit of a longer growth, we’d recommend a dash of beard oil and a styling product to both give you a bit of shape and help you avoid the dreaded beard-itch. Nothing is more distracting than a hirsute gentleman furiously scratching his beard while he’s speaking.
If you prefer the fresh-face look, best go with a nice close wet shave. Not only will you feel great but it’ll also help to keep the temperature down if you tend to suffer from anxiety or nerves.
Sadly so often overlooked, hands are actually incredibly important in public presentations. You may greet people with a handshake, so ensure your nails neatly trimmed in advance of your presentation, and ensure your hands are clean on the day itself. If you’re prone to sweaty palms, carry a handkerchief. If you’re giving a speech and are a gesticulator, your hands will definitely be noticed, even if only peripherally.
Teeth should be cleaned, flossed, cleaned again, and well rinsed. Also ensure you have a pack of mints handy. Avoid the gum at all costs though. Nothing will destroy your dapper credibility more quickly than furious masticating.
Finally, when it comes to deodorant and cologne, play it smart: use an odour-free deodorant and let your cologne do the talking—but do keep it subtle. Your scent should announce your arrival but not linger after you've gone. Stick to two sprays or one two-hand splash, however tempting it is to douse yourself with expensive cologne to try and make a cool personal statement.
And there you have it, friends. A couple of quick and simple pointers to keep you looking sharp and presenting well. Of course, there is a lot more we could say about a good night’s sleep, the importance of keeping hydrated, a good gym routine, and the benefits of a well- fitted suit for example, but those are topics for another day!
Best of luck with whatever engagements you may have coming up. We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below and please share with your friends if you found this useful.
Worthy & Spruce. Purveyors of dapper grooming and advice for the responsible gent.
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Mr. Spruce aka Andy. One half of Worthy & Spruce. Blogging about all things gentlemanly, and many things not. Tired but tireless dad, business dude, consumer of coffee, and deliverer of timely quips.
by Mr. Spruce
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