I'm speaking today at a seminar for AAJ in Chicago. I've been watching the speakers and have a co-presenter, Tony. They are all whip smart and articulate. But there is one behavior pattern they share. They are so stern faced. So serious. They believe in what they are saying. They want to communicate their position, their passion. Their words are spoken emphatically and with precision. The audience mirrors back the gravity of the occasion.
I looked at the dress code last night - the speakers are supposed to be in suits. I come close. I have on these great J-Brand black stretch jeans (basically leggings) coupled with a white floaty button down funky T that I got at Anthropologie, topped with a (nod to propriety) black jacket and just for good measure - gold high heel sandals. I think that's a good suit. Why do we have to wear "suits" when we're not in court. Why do we have to be so prim and proper and business like. Over the years I've been nagged to cut my hair or try to straighten it or pull it back. But I wear it in the most riotous fashion because it makes the statement: don't typecast me!
We are talking about ethics during our hour. This is a mandatory requirement. Usually people take naps (or go for long bathroom breaks). Tony stays in lawyer character leaving me the freedom to be the "color commentator". I love that role. I run around from person to person with my microphone and tell them I'm "Just like Sally Jesse Raphael." Before long, we have the whole room talking, wondering, questioning, thinking...and having fun.