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November 10, 2009

Jacquie Rogers:What colours should speakers wear?

The general manager of the BT Convention Centre, Liverpool says what a keynote speaker wears can directly affect their engagement with delegates.

At the BT Convention Centre, we are used to seeing huge stage sets arrive ready for a large conference. Much thought has usually been given to the creative treatment of the presentation and making sure of the full visual impact for the delegates.

However, it is just as important for the speaker to engage with the audience. So we’ve launched a very simple guide that can add impact to any speaker and help with the return on investment of the event.
Entitled Keynote Colours, it is a simple reference tool designed to capitalise on colour, thereby ensuring that keynote speakers effectively communicate and deliver information in a dynamic and inspiring way. 

Here’s a quick guide to the effects of colour on a conference audience:    
Blue: A colour preferred by Europeans and especially men. It is, however, the coldest of colours yet denotes loyalty and authority.
Grey: One of the most common colours for a man’s suit. It gives an efficient and distinguished image, but if over-used it can portray the person as boring.
Black: The symbol of death, yet also one of the colours most worn to conferences and business meetings. It provides no character unless teamed with a vivid colour, which then makes the image chic and inspiring.
Red: This vibrant and eye-catching colour stands out the most, especially in a crowd of hundreds of delegates. Red represents energy and speed, but can also be seen as anger and danger, giving off negative connotations.
Green: To link a product to nature and hope, green is the colour to be worn.  Delegates remember this colour and associate it to green and environmental issues, taking back with them a positive image of the company/product.
Pink: Offers a symbol of love, softness and sweetness and works well as a colour to combat fear.
White: White is associated with purity and cleanliness, but also portrays a cold and blank image. In Asian countries this colour is associated with mourning.
Yellow: A stimulating colour, but not advised for very nervous people. To an audience it gives off warmth and is also pleasing to the eye, keeping the audience engaged.

Jacquie Rogers is general manager at the BT Conference Centre, Liverpool.

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