How to Dress for a Webinar

By Sharat Sharan, John Carucci

Unlike with movie stars, there’s not much celebrity status that goes beyond the webinar for presenters (unless of course they are bona fide stars doing a webinar). A webinar doesn’t have a red carpet where your presenters can pose and the press can ask them which designer’s clothes they’re wearing.

You still need to dress for the occasion, but there’s no hard-and-fast rule that covers every circumstance. It’s difficult to compare the webinar experience with the physical world where you adhere to some form of fashion convention.

For example, it’s not acceptable to go to a formal event like a wedding wearing flip-flops and a cut-off T-shirt. A dark suit would be a better choice, just as linen trousers are well suited for an evening pool party.

Picking the correct wardrobe for a webinar is far more relaxed and often comes down to knowing your audience. You want to make sure that you’re dressed appropriately for the presentation. Instead, you want them to pay attention to you. A hoodie might be fine for an audiocast, but it may not be the best choice when you are on video.

The presenter’s attire needs to take into consideration a variety of factors that include the following suggestions:

  • Dress for the occasion: The presenter’s attire should reflect what the audience would wear. If you’re talking with an audience of students, dress casual. Conversely, if you’re addressing a business audience, it’s a good idea to wear what they wear, which more often than not is a suit. Of course, some audiences are hipper than others. If you’re addressing a Silicon Valley audience, a suit is probably over-the-top.

  • Don’t overdress (or underdress): Wearing a three-piece suit for a webinar on an arts education topic may not convey the visual statement you’re trying to make. The same holds true for speaking on-camera about capitalizing on the short sales market while wearing jeans and a T-shirt. It’s better to dress like your audience.

  • Keep it simple: If you’re going to present on video, you need to adhere to certain rules. For example, it’s not a good idea to wear white because you create a bright spot on the screen. Wearing complicated patterns can also cause a problem on video.