What is the role of color in your public speaking and leadership role? I believe youÂ project a color from within and over the years Iâ€™ve noticed four different groups, some more obvious than others. What colors you wear also matters.
Perhaps the most noticeable â€“ what you instantly sense â€“ is when a â€œsunnyâ€ personality is speaking. You can almost see bright yellow around them.Â My mother-in-law, Lillian, was like that â€“ she filled a room with sunshine whenever she entered – and her son, Eddie, also projects that glow.
Think for a moment about others you have encountered. In contrast, they seem to bring dark clouds with them, a more negative, stressful air, reflecting the color deep gray. Â In between these extremes are what I call the warm tones and the cool tones. Â Folks who exude the warm tones do not generate the intense sunshine my mother-in-law evoked but they do bring a reassuring approachability that make you want to listen.Â The last group, the cool tones, I associate with speakers and leaders who mostly try to connect with you brain-to-brain, in a straight-forward, information-packed, logical manner, but devoid of much emotion and color.
When we become aware of what colors we naturally produce, we can focus on adding more dimension to our messages â€“ upbeat energy, approachability, and perhaps more logic and useful information. If youâ€™re the one with the dark clouds overhead, enough said.
The wrong colors in clothing can also interfere with our effectiveness as a speaker and leader.
I do not recommend wearing black, or white, or anything with a pattern when you speak in public, and that goes for media appearances, also. Â Why? Black can project an intimidating stance. White and patterns can be distracting. Instead, favor royal blue, navy, purple, and aqua. Charcoal gray with a good pop of a brighter color can work, too. Red is okay as an accent, or in a suit or dress for a short presentation. Wearing red for a longer presentation can be hard on the eyes.
Your internal colors â€“ and those in your closet â€“ are powerful. You can control both.
Want your next presentation or speech to go better than ever? I invite you to watch my video, a live recording of â€œHow to Avoid the Five Biggest Speaking Mistakes That Leaders Make,â€ presented to the Florida International Bankers Association – FIBA Chats recently in Miami. JustÂ click here.Â