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Seb Anthony

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Trainer Dress Codes


Need some research on how you should dress as a trainer. Should you match your dress to that of the delegates, the organisation (yours or the delegates)- what ?
Is the stereotype true that how you look and dress affects how the delegates treat/respect you ?
Does, or should, the (wo)man in a suit appear more professional than the (wo)man in casual ?
Peter Mundy

7 Responses

  1. Image Consultations
    At a previous organistion, it was customary for new trainers to have an image consultation with one of the main agencies, e.g. Colour Me Beautiful or First Impressions. The consultant would advise on the best colours and styles to wear for that individual. Some people may be sceptical, but I believe that when you are wearing your right colours and right styles you are much more confident and project the right image and others DO notice and respond to you in a more positive light. The consultants advise on both formal and informal/casual dress code, so depending on what your training preferences are, they will help you to “look the part”.

  2. It all depends!
    If I am working in a formal commerical setup I do the works, suit, make-up the works. However if I am just giving an evening class to beginners (something at the local school )I go for smart casual….

  3. Positive personal image
    I came across a fantastic Company at last years NEC Training Solutions Show.
    I sat in on a talk given by them and learnt loads about how your image affects the way in which others perceive you.
    Their web site is worth a look:

  4. Dressed to Train
    The recommended level of clothing is part of the course design and depends on where the course is being run and its training philosophy.

    Some training courses are designed to have a more informal atmosphere so students are asked to dress casually. No matter what is put in the joining instructions, it is another one of those unwritten laws of the universe that at least one of the students will turn up wearing a business suit and will continue to wear a suit for the rest of the week. There is no problem with this as long as the person feels comfortable with what they are wearing.

    Whatever the dress code, the cardinal rule is that trainers should not be dressed very differently from the students. If a trainer adopts a dress style which is the same as the most casually dressed student the more smartly dressed may start to feel uncomfortable, and vice versa. The best approach is for trainers to try to adopt a level of dress that is at about the middle of the students’ range.

    As the students arrive you will get a feeling for the level of dress. If the level of dress is biased towards one end of the dress code, you can subtly amend your own clothes. This can be as simple as removing a jacket.

    Mike Wills

  5. Respect Image
    I think I veer onto the respect through dress code, but dress down by always removing the jacket of my suit once everyone is in the room! In Norway where I teach regularly they dress much more casually and I am forever being asked to “dress down” but it goes against the work ethic I have (I just remove my jacket before they come in the room!).

  6. Boring
    I would disagree with some of the things said, but like the comment about colour. When I began f2f delivery I heeded two pieces of advice.
    1. Always appear professional. Remember the first impressions rule. You are not a delegate, therefore dress to diferentiate.
    2. Dress smart but boring. I liked to wear the odd colourful tie (sometimes very odd) but was told that the delegates need to concentrate on the content, not on the deliverer. I subsequently discovered a boring blue tie, white shirt and plain suit worked exceedingly well in generating a relationship between trainer and delegate. This was especially important as the group were normally mandatory attenders from the job centre.


  7. Who are you?
    There is much to agree with in the comments already posted (good colour choice, respecting the delegates, etc), but I would add one further thought.

    You need to be confident of who you are – because although the material you present is key, it is you and your personal style that will make it memorable … or not.

    So my contribution is to suggest you wear what you are most comfortable in, and what lets your personality out. If your own personality is not what you want to put across, then you need to be comfortable with a job where you are lying to yourself as well as your delegates. hmm


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