Crafting Your Corporate Image: The Power of Dressing for Success in On-Camera Presentations

First impressions are formed within seconds. When you’re meeting someone new through video, if that first impression doesn’t land, they are likely to click away.

Dressing for Success

Since video is both an audio and visual experience, the non-verbal signals you send are just as important as verbal and written messages. This includes your facial expressions, body language, and your chosen attire. What you wear in your corporate video communicates volumes before you even speak. Your attire can convey professionalism, credibility, and even your company’s values. Therefore, it’s crucial to dress with purpose and intentionality. Dressing for impact isn’t just about looking good—it’s about making a lasting impression that resonates with your audience long after the video ends.

Decoding Non-Verbal Messages in Clothing

Every garment, color, and accessory speaks its own language. Many executives are inclined to dress formally when they go on camera. A tailored suit exudes authority and competence, but that style may not match the video’s intended tone. If you’re hoping to appear friendly and open when addressing your audience, a suit may not be the best choice.

On the other hand, casual attire may convey approachability and humility. An executive may choose to dress down to give the sense that you’re getting to know the “real” them. You might choose to amplify the impact of casual attire by filming in a relaxed environment, away from the cold walls of a conference room. However, casual dress could lack an appropriate level of solemnity, depending on the subject matter of the video. Be sure to align your wardrobe choices with your messaging.

The colors you choose to wear also play a significant role in the impression you set. Blue signifies trustworthiness; red exudes power and passion. Subdued tones are serious while bold and bright colors are playful and exciting.

When filming a vlog-style video for watch enthusiasts, John Reardon, a world-renowned luxury watch expert, opted to wear a button-down and sweater combo. This wardrobe choice created a sense of approachability, while still conveying professionalism.

Balancing Professionalism and Personality on Camera

While corporate attire sets a standard of professionalism, it’s essential to inject elements of authenticity into your appearance. Your outfit should reflect not only your role, but also your personality. How can you differentiate yourself visually? How might your chosen attire reflect the culture of your organization? This authenticity fosters a deeper connection with the audience, making your message more relatable and engaging.

On a basic level, dressing more formally than you normally would can feel unnatural. A leader who is used to working on the floor with their team would look out of place in a suit.

Tips for Elevating Your Presence on Video

  1. Know your audience: Tailor your clothing choice to resonate with your target audience. Understand their expectations before selecting your outfit.
  2. Stay true to your brand: Your clothing should align with your company’s brand identity. Consistency across all channels reinforces brand recognition. And the audience can sense inauthenticity.
  3. Opt for timeless styles: Overly trendy clothing can quickly date your video. A carefully crafted video can serve many purposes and be shown for months or years down the road. Opt for classic timeless pieces that exude sophistication.
  4. Mind the details: Pay attention to your hair, makeup, and accessories. A well-groomed appearance and thoughtful accessories can elevate your overall look without distracting from your message. You may want to invest in professional hair and makeup, but don’t make any risky style choices that could make you uncomfortable on camera.
  5. Wear what makes you feel confident: Confidence is key to a successful on-camera performance. When you feel confident in your appearance, it translates into your demeanor. Presenting your most authentic self is the best way to build trust and make a connection with your viewers.

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“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”


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