Psychologists claim that the way your message comes across is something like this
Words you use – 7%
Tone of voice – 38%
How you look – 55%
So, a simple question: what should you wear? In essence, there are a few choices: (a) business suit (b) smart casual or (c) very casual.
No matter how boring it looks, the business suit will win in 99% of cases. It shows that you are a serious organisation tackling the crisis with a professional team.
Even those who might normally eschew the suit – for instance Jeremy Corbyn of the UK’s Labour Party – still turn out in one.
The ‘smart casual’ often looks like you’ve just walked off the golf course, and the very casual can look like you just fell out of bed.
Be very careful with accessories: earrings (possibly for women but discreet), nose rings (NO) and guys: have a close shave. Hard hats, high-vis gear can be worn if there is a need, but not as the CEO of British Airways wore one in the Operations Room. He was lambasted on Twitter as it just appeared false.
Remember that TV is still hugely powerful and the same applies if you are going to do a video for Twitter or other social media. That visual image will say a lot about you and what you are trying to convey.
Also, watch your backdrop: that renaissance picture of Venus talking a bath may be very alluring on your boardroom wall, but do you really want to broadcast it?
Good luck and have a good week!