Gina Rudan speaking at TEDGlobal in 2010.

The following post was contributed by Tonya Evans of Style Strategist.

For nearly a year, you’ve been courting that dream account. You’ve cultivated relationships within the organization over time. You’ve thoroughly researched their business and know exactly how your organization can increase efficiencies and save them money.

A few months back, you even took the time to send a complete presentation to the several members of their leadership team, which clearly demonstrated why your product was superior over what the company was currently using.

But come meeting day, you’ve forgotten one thing. How are you packaged?

Does your look express your confidence and passion about your product or service? Does your look say that you mean business?

One of my clients, Gina Rudan, was booked to give what we titled the “speech of her life.” She worked hard to cultivate great relationships and build her reputation around her message of spreading genius. Her hard work paid off when she was asked to speak at the TED Global Conference in Oxford, England.

She didn’t take anything for granted. She thoroughly prepared for her speech and wanted to package her genius. We choose a stunning suit for the stage, but our work didn’t stop there. Gina understood that every single interaction at the week-long conference was an opportunity to network and build life-long relationships. She wanted to be polished, professional and unforgettable.

For your next sales trip, client meeting or conference, here are five tips to help make your image a lasting one.

  • Carefully review the itinerary and make sure that you are dressed appropriately and have packed enough clothes for all scheduled day and night time events.
  • If you are a speaker, reach out the conference organizers to find out the color of the background draping. That way, you won’t be lost in all black with all black background.
  • Find out what the weather will be in the city during your trip. A winter conference in New York is quite different from a winter conference in Texas, so pack accordingly.
  • Prepare for the unexpected. Make sure to pack a business outfit and an evening outfit with a “wow” factor, in case the opportunity arises for an interview for the job of your dreams or if you get 10 minutes over a drink with the decision maker your after.
  • Bring weather-resistant gear. Pack a travel umbrella, shoes that can weather the rain or snow, and an all-weather trench coat.

What’s the “speech of your life” moment? Will you be ready?

Tonya Seavers Evans is president and founder of Style Strategist Inc., a Miami-based image and communications consultancy with a passion for teaching individuals how to marry their style with their message. She is a former communications professional for Fortune 500 organizations and was trained by the prestigious London Image Institute. Tonya is also an rbb client who manages media relations & communications at JWU. Read more of Evans’ blog posts here.