Jun 26, 2009

Which side of the screen do you stand?

When you stand and present which side of the screen do you prefer? Is right, right or is left right? You must have heard people recommending where one should stand. My simple suggestion to you would be: "Do not stand at one place, keep moving."

Follow these three things in all your presentations:

Stand where you are comfortable,

Stand so that you do not come in between the projector and the screen, and

Keep moving once in a while, especially to the absolute back row

What happens when you move?

The focus shifts to you. As humans we focus on things that move. On a slide, the eyes will go first to that object which is moving/changing. So by moving some bit, you get the audience to look at you and not at the screen. I remember I asked a colleague at work to give a talk for 2 minutes and he stood almost at one corner where no one could see him. And he stood like a statue. The result, no one listened to him. Remember you are more important than the slides. So get yourself into the limelight.

Secondly, when you move you connect more with the audience, especially if the gathering is large. When I present to an audience of 25 or more, I ensure I move around, keep my hands on their shoulders or shake hands, look straight into their eyes, ask a question. I also move towards people to answer something they have asked. I have found that it helps.

You may not require much movement across the room if your gathering is small. In that case a good eye contact becomes the primary tool of audience connect.

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