Jan 27, 2010

Keep the lights on while presenting

Every presentation I attend I try to learn something. Some things that have been done right and some things not quite so. The presentation I last attended was a sales pitch from the business development manager of a large enterprise. The presenter was pitching for some business.

When I entered the room I saw the presenter standing at one end of the mid-sized rectangular conference room. All lights off. I could only see the bright slides and nothing else. The presenter was at standing near his laptop (he did not have a wireless presenter and so had to stand at one place). He was just not visible.

This brings me to the topic of the day:
"How should you manage the room lighting while presenting?"

Well, the focus of this sales pitch or for that matter any presentation is on the presenter. We have come to listen to him. He is the one who is pitching and asking me to shell out my time and money. So should he hide himself while talking? (unless ofcourse I have come to see a video or a movie)

No. The presenter should never be invisible. The lights near the screen should be switched off but lights falling on the presenter and the audience should be on. If I can't see you, how am I going to understand you? It's a recipe for disaster. All the basics of good presentation, eye contact, connecting with the audience thrown right out of the window. There it fell on the road, thud!

It was very difficult for me as an audience to not be able to see the presenter. I was really troubled and so will any member of the audience. So what I did do about it? I asked asked the presenter (after about 15 minutes) to switch on the lights above him and above us. And I advice anybody who is in my position to do the same. Let there be light!

Image credit: Pixomar


  1. Vivek:

    Nice post.

    You made some excellent points.

    Thank you.

    Seems obvious after reading your suggestions, but some presenters don't 'Get It!'


  2. I absolutely agree with your last sentence. After you read it is so obvious. But not so much, before. Thanks for visiting and commenting.