When you make your presentation, make sure you are not under-dress or over-dress. The way you dress should “match” the way your audience dresses. Attorneys are notoriously bad at this. I used to make presentations at Executive Enterprises’ environmental seminars held at resort hotels. Some of the guest speakers were attorneys. They always showed up in their three-piece suits to speak to an audience that was made up of engineers and plant managers. Almost every member of the audience was in polo shirts or open collars. There was not a tie in sight. And these attorneys were wondering why they were not making rapport and connection with the audience.
You should always try to dress in the same style as your audience so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb. If you are not sure how the audience would dress, you can show up wearing a tie and jacket but be prepared to take them off if necessary. Removing your jacket, taking off your tie and rolling up your sleeves in front of a group of engineers will do wonders for you. It tells them you are one of them.