Jul 14, 2013

How to avoid turning your back towards the audience?

Most of us have to look at the slides while presenting. Even if you have rehearsed well, you might look back at the screen a few times. For the vast majority, which does not rehearse well, looking back is common. You do it many times in a presentation.

When we look back, the audience hates it. Eye contact breaks and it looks odd. It also indicates you don't know what's up there. How to avoid this situation smartly?

Solution: Have a laptop in front of you (on the podium/lectern).
When you want to know what's up there on the slides, don't turn your head, just look the laptop. This method is good but it restricts you free movement on the stage. You cannot get too far away from the laptop.

Smarter Solution: Get a screen placed in front of you.
Possibly two to three screens (depending on the size of the stage). Here is an image to clarify what I am saying.


Look at the three screens in front of the presenter. I have used a yellow arrow to indicate the screens. The event manager places a large screen TV and connects it to your laptop. The TV screen and the large projector screen (behind) display the same slide.

If you are in a small conference room, manage by looking at your laptop. Do not turn your head back. Avoid turning back more than 2/3 times.

If you have a larger gathering and employ an event manager, request for such TV screens to be placed in front of you. It will ensure you don't turn you head and show your back to the audience. Imagine how odd it will be if this presenter (see same photo) turns his back to the audience and looks at the slides. Avoidable!