In today’s business world, there are many times a business person needs to give a presentation either to their fellow colleagues or to their customers. At times you will be standing behind a lectern or on a stage in front of your audience.
If you want to know the possible pitfalls of speaking behind a lectern, just consult an earlier posting regarding these problems.
Today we will discuss speaking on a stage. One potential problem is how you handle your notes. If you are standing on a stage, having notes in your hand can be a distraction to your audience. You will have to practice using your notes to avoid this distraction. There is nothing worse than spending practice time on the content and then having your presentation look amateurish because you handled your notes inadequately. The physical part of using notes maybe only a small aspect of your speech but it can have a major impact. Not using notes is always better. If you have to use notes, spend time reviewing the actual handling and placement of these notes.
Moving on a stage can be used to your advantage. You should always move with a sense of purpose. Moving back and forth with no purpose makes you look like ping pong ball and will give your audience very sore necks. We are all nervous going but for some of us that translates into excessive walking around on stage. You must practice learning to match your speech’s major points with your movements on stage. Again, move with a purpose.
Another factor to consider on stage is the sight lines. Are all parts of the stage visible to every audience member? Is the level of lighting for the stage consistently the same no matter where you stand? Or are you in the shadows on the back of the stage but in bright lights on the front of the stage?
We sometimes concentrate on the content of our speeches but fail to take into consideration the environment of where we will speak. Know your speaking environment!