Friday, 8 June 2012

Delivering a better presentation / training course. No. 9. Dress code.

This is the ninth in a series of posts where I plan to discuss my ideas, tips and best practices for delivering a great presentation / training course. Dress smartly.

Third one today (any one would think I had time on my hands).

If you are delivering a training course, then you should act professionally and dress in smart attire. (I am talking about delivering a professional or technical training course and not dry stone walling. That would require a different dress code entirely).

The rules are slightly different for presenting at conventions. Speakers are often given a conference polo shirt and encouraged to wear them. I stuff mine into my bag to wear when I'm doing the gardening or horse riding when I get back home.

I can't help feeling that I look like a gas fitter when I'm wearing one.

By the way, this isn't a gas fitter thing. My plumber wears a branded polo shirt too!

Perhaps it's passive aggression? That is the fuel for many blogs after all.

Companies (and that includes training companies) have their own standards when it comes to attire. Many would suggest something like "Smart casual".

I have noticed a trend amongst some trainers turning up to deliver training courses wearing convention or technology branded polo shirts.

My son likes to wear his Download 2010 T-shirt. He likes people to know that he's into his music and that he went to Download 2010 (ACDC were headlining) and that his wardrobe extends beyond his collection of Iron Maiden T-shirts.

So what does a Windows 8 Metro or Techdays 2011 (Helsinki) shirt say about me?

That I attended or presented at the show or that I chose not to wear anything smarter?

Am I trying to be cool?

Am I trying to say that a 'real developer' wouldn't wear a suit and tie(optional) at work?

News flash! I am not a 'real developer'!

I am a professional trainer who has worked as a real developer on an off for 25 years and who incidentally much prefers training.

Am I afraid that if I wear a suit, people will think like George Bernard Shaw? "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.".

There is a world of difference between a Build 2011 sticker on your laptop and a polo shirt!

For those people who expect others to dress smartly for work, then a branded polo shirt (even if it's signed by Bill Gates himself) is unlikely to impress.


See you soon

Phil Stirpé
"I don't do average!"

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