Image of a poised and self-assured woman takes the stage, elegantly clad in a suit, and firmly grasping the microphone. Her presence commands attention and exudes confidence.


The Subconscious Power of Looks: How to Dress Confidently On Stage and Engage Audiences

An image shows a woman with black hair styled in a ponytail, wearing a white shirt. She is standing on a stage and speaking into a microphone while facing an audience. On the right, a black translucent box with white text, "The Subconscious Power of Looks: How to Dress Confidently On Stage and Engage Audiences"

At one point or another, we all have to learn how to speak to an audience, aiming to be confident on stage. We learn power poses, avoid making too many hand gestures, try to engage the audience with eye contact but not too much eye contact. We practice good posture and check for nonverbal cues. Ultimately, we want to make an emotional connection with our audience. 

While we may spend hours of practice over the years on those things but when it comes to our actual physical presence… we often run out of time, scrambling last minute to find the right outfit and/or makeup products to look and feel our best. 

Real confidence is when we step out prepared to present our topics, make a good impression, and not feel insecure about anything we have to say. Stepping onto the stage isn’t just about words—it’s about making a statement. Beyond mastering your skills, there’s a powerful yet often overlooked aspect that can sway audiences long before you even utter a word: your appearance. In this blog, we unlock the secret to dressing confidently on stage and leaving a lasting impression on your audience.

An image of a microphone, the theme of the image is public speaking.

What is Public Speaking?

Public speaking is the act of delivering a speech or presentation in front of an audience, aiming to convey information, persuade, inspire, or entertain. It involves effective communication skills to engage and captivate the listeners. A great public speaker uses verbal and nonverbal communication techniques, such as tone of voice, body language, and visual aids, to make their message compelling and memorable. According to The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus found that when people are speaking, approximately 57% of the message comes from nonverbal communication. 

The Profound Impact of Speaker Appearance

Image of a woman wearing professional attire and minimal makeup, confidently delivering a presentation while holding a microphone.

Have you ever wondered what sets a great speaker apart from the rest? Could it be more than just the words they say? 

Public speaking is a powerful tool, but it’s not just about the words you say. Your appearance can have a profound impact on your audience’s perception and engagement, shaping their subconscious biases.

In this article, we’ll explore how to harness the power of your looks to exude confidence on stage while still staying true to yourself and addressing the biases of your audiences.

We are Natalie Setareh and Tammy Parrish, a professional makeup artist and stylist team committed to helping our clients Create Their Signature Look. With years of professional experience in the personal styling and makeup artistry, we understand the subconscious power of appearance especially when it comes to public speaking and engaging audiences on stage.

A photo from behind of a woman giving a presentation to an audience.

Our combined expertise allows us to not only enhance your natural features with stunning makeup but also curate power outfits that exude confidence and charisma.

Now, we are excited to share our knowledge and insider secrets with you through the Confidence On-Stage Masterclass. The Confident On-Stage Masterclass takes away the overwhelm and insecurities you may have about your appearance at professional events.

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In this exclusive program, we’ll reveal the tips and techniques that other public speaking coaches often overlook, giving you a competitive edge and empowering you to own the stage with poise and grace.

Subconscious Bias: Capturing and Maintaining Attention

It’s a well-known fact that first impressions matter. When you step onto the stage, your appearance can instantly influence how your audience perceives you and your message.

When it comes to presentations, the subconscious brain plays a significant role, accounting for 95% of reactions and behaviors. To effectively engage your audience, it is crucial to first satisfy the subconscious mind. With limited time for each presentation, capturing and maintaining attention becomes essential.

An image of a confident public speaker with trendy clothes and a classic look.

One common obstacle in presentations is the audience’s perception and biases. Our speaker is interested in seeking guidance on how to overcome these biases while staying true to oneself. For example, when speaking to an international large audience in a conservative business sector, it is important to find a balance. We’ll explore some effective strategies for adapting and using guidelines to meet most of the audience.

  • Adapting and using guidelines to meet the majority while addressing biases.
  • Example of speaking to an international audience in the conservative business sector.
  • Desire to stay true to oneself while considering the biases of the audience.

By acknowledging and addressing the biases of your audience while staying true to your authentic self, you will master the art of captivating any crowd. 

3 Keys To Speaker Success: Control Factors

As a great speaker, you should have control over three vital elements: your looks, knowledge, and preparation. 

Looks – The Power of First Impressions

An image of a woman using a small mirror to apply eyeshadow.

In headshots, photographs, and online presentations, your face takes center stage. The presentation’s success heavily relies on capturing the attention of your audience with the positive first impression your face leaves. However, for live events, such as speaking engagements, we must consider the overall package – both head and body.

Knowledge & Preparation

For many speakers, a lack of confidence can be a significant obstacle. It’s not just about what you say but also how you present yourself. Preparing for and knowing what you’re going to say and present is on you but rest easy knowing you can learn the strategic tips and tricks of how to assemble an outfit you’ll feel confident in… or of course, you can outsource styling, hair, and makeup to professionals in your community that you trust.

Our expert guidance ensures that you exude confidence in your appearance, allowing you to focus on delivering an impactful and memorable performance.

Even the best speakers struggle with finding the perfect outfit for their speaking engagements. Being confident in your hair, makeup, and outfit is where our masterclass comes in! We know the last thing you have time to stress about is what you’re going to wear.

A woman seen rummaging through her closet full of clothes.

You also don’t want to do panic shopping and end up with a bunch of clothes and makeup you have no intention of using again. Our masterclass provides invaluable tips on curating power outfits that exude confidence and charisma, making you feel great on stage and leaving a lasting impression on your audience.

Showcasing Your Personal Brand

Having a consistent and memorable personal brand is important. Think about it, a white lab coat is generally associated with people who work in medicine or scientific labs. But would these professionals want to wear the white lab coat if they’re pitching their research idea to a board of investors? Probably not.

Your personal style should be woven into your appearance. And if you struggle with having a clear, consistent, personal brand you feel comfortable in with your makeup, wardrobe, or both, check out our Create Your Signature program. 

A call to action to learn more about creating your signature look

By taking control of your looks, knowledge, and preparation, and by developing a personal brand that resonates with your audience, you can command the stage with confidence and leave a lasting impact on your listeners.

Makeup Tips for On-Stage Confidence

In the world of makeup, the key is to enhance your features and allow your natural beauty and personal brand to shine through. A study conducted by Censuswide and Gee Hair found around 80% of people between the ages of 33 and 54 don’t feel confident in their appearance.

Image of a makeup artist applying makeup on her client.

Here are three tips to consider to ensure you look confident on stage:

  • False eyelashes worn improperly or overly long eyelash extensions can be distracting for both live events and cameras. 
  • Always be cautious of lipstick on teeth that can be easily avoided. 
  • Extreme contouring and shaping of the face might not work well in real life or on camera. These techniques often look harsh and distracting. 
Quote by Natalie Setareh

“Your physical appearance needs to support, not distract from your talk. This way, all eyes and ears stay focused on the content, not the packaging.”— Natalie

Remember, the key to makeup for public speaking is to keep it polished, professional, and true to your personal brand. The most important thing is to enhance your natural beauty, be mindful of potential distractions, and focus on exuding confidence through your stage presence. By following these simple things, you’ll look and feel your best on stage, allowing you to deliver effective presentations with poise and assurance.

Dressing for Success in Your Personal Style

Image of woman's hands looking through clothing rack.

When stepping on stage for business presentations, it’s crucial to avoid outfits that distract the audience. The fit, fabric, finish, and comfort of your clothing should all be carefully considered. Achieving a confident on-stage look doesn’t mean compromising your personal style. It’s about finding the ideal outfit while considering the conservative audience’s perception.

Quote by Tammy Parrish.

“Your face is more important than your body in online presentations, but for live events, it’s about the total package. If your head and body don’t match, people will pass judgment.”— Tammy 

Here are tips to help you find the perfect outfit for your formal presentation while considering your live audiences:

  • Static Cling: Identify elements that may cause friction or distraction and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Re-think black: While black is often favored on stage, consider the drawbacks of blending in with the background and the negative effects of harsh lighting on aging skin. Experimenting with more colorful attire can be a great option, but comfort is key.
  • Sound Check Accessories:  Avoid accessories that move around
  • Keep Shine in Check: Avoid shiny accessories that reflect light! (This includes makeup highlighter)

Confident On-Stage Light, Color, Attention Framework:

Our Confident On-Stage Masterclass is centered around our “Lights, Color, Attention” framework that will empower you with valuable skills to enhance your overall appearance. By applying this framework approach to your speaking engagement, you’ll learn the art of adjusting your look to complement different lighting situations, ensuring you always look your best.

Image of a woman in professional attire and minimal makeup, giving a presentation while holding a microphone.

Adjusting Your Look for Different Lighting

Learn how to adapt your appearance based on various lighting situations, ensuring you always present yourself in the best possible light.

Choosing the Right Colors, Fabrics, and Finishes

Discover the secrets of selecting colors and materials that complement your skin tone and hair, creating a harmonious and flattering effect.

Using Your Image Effectively

Master the art of using your image to attract others’ attention without becoming a distraction, projecting confidence and charisma in any situation.

Commanding Attention

Develop the ability to capture and maintain the audience’s attention, whether it’s during professional engagements, social events, or public presentations.

By mastering these techniques, you’ll be able to command the attention you seek and make a positive impression, whether it’s in professional settings, social gatherings, or any public engagement. Prepare to present the best version of yourself with confidence and charisma!


In conclusion, your appearance holds incredible influence in public speaking. It can exude confidence- a positive attitude, captivate your live audience, and address biases while staying true to yourself. Our expert tips and the Confidence On-Stage Masterclass will empower you to captivate any crowd and make a lasting impact as a confident and influential public speaker. Let your appearance reflect your authentic self and watch as your message resonates powerfully with your audience. Embrace this journey and become the captivating and great speaker you were meant to be.

Ready to Step Into the Spotlight? 

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