Tips on leading presentations in meetings and events

Posted On: Wednesday, 16 November 2022

woman giving presentation to group

 It’s important to dress for the venue and for the event you are attending.

Let’s face it — some people love giving public presentations while others loathe it. Whichever side you fall on, it’s important to be prepared.

American Legion Auxiliary members not only deliver presentations and bring greetings at unit meetings, but sometimes we’re asked to present on the ALA to local groups like Chambers of Commerce, the Lions Club, local libraries, and other community organizations.

As the saying goes, “dress to impress.” What to wear can vary based on the type of meeting. Following are a few pointers to keep you representing your best self:

In person meeting/event
It’s important to dress for the venue and for the event you are attending.

For example, if you are volunteering outside, wear an ALA branded shirt with pants you don’t mind getting dirty. This way, if you are part of a larger event or people drive/walk by, they will see you are part of the ALA.

Branded items can be found online at American Legion Flag & Emblem Sales at or by calling 888-453-4466. A division of The American Legion National Headquarters, purchases made through here help support the Legion Family.

You can also purchase ALA-branded apparel at Lands’ End Business. Members can shop here for high-quality clothing and merchandise that can be branded with the ALA emblem by shopping in a custom storefront. To start shopping, visit  or call 1-800-920-1471.

Opposite of attending an outside, casual event, you may be asked to speak at a formal event. For this, professional/formal wear is required (e.g.), pant suit, dress, suit, and tie.

At any meeting or event — whether it’s casual or formal — it’s important to not wear anything that could possibly be inappropriate. This includes but is not limited to political shirts (we are an apolitical organization), shirts with bad language, too much skin showing, inappropriate images, etc.&

Always remember that less is more. Whether presenting at your department convention or at a local organization’s meeting, keep it simple. Solid colors are recommended versus wearing distracting patterns or big, bold colors.

Computer screen with several people in a virtual meeting

 Just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean what you wear isn’t still important.

Virtual meetings
We’ve all been in virtual meetings at one time or another over the past few years. But, just because it’s virtual, doesn’t mean what you wear isn’t still important. 

For video purposes, have a nice shirt/jacket on top. But nothing too distracting — you want people to pay attention to the content you are presenting, not your attire.

In addition to what you wear, also pay attention to what’s in your background and the lighting in the room. It’s important to test your video out ahead of time to make sure your background and lighting aren’t too distracting. Try to find a blank wall or at least one with minimal items hanging on it. Be aware of what else could be in the video shot — boxes, clothes, trash, dirty dishes, etc. Again, you don’t want people so focused on the clutter around you and behind you that they miss your message.

You also don’t want the lighting to wash you out or make you appear like you’re in the dark. This might require you to use a lamp versus an overhead light.

Once you have the lighting and background in check, make sure the camera is not aimed down your lap while talking. Make sure to have it eye level — stack some books under your computer to help raise it up if needed.

You are ready!
Overall, what you wear to in-person or virtual meetings/events does matter, as well as your background, lighting, and position of your computer or phone. Keep these tips in mind the next time you attend an ALA function so your message will always be heard loud and clear.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.