July 22, 2015

How to Walk On the Stage While Presenting

Do you want to be a participant in a training program or a presentation where the presenter stands stiff in one place all throughout? Of course not! If you said yes, I guarantee you are lying or just saying that to be nice. Or, you've blocked out the last boring presentation out of your mind because it was too traumatic to sit through!  

Moving around the stage is critical to building rapport with audience and making the presentation memorable and engaging for everyone. Yes, even including you!  

If you're wondering how to stand on the stage with confidence and build interest with your audience, watch the videos below. 

How to Use the Stage Effectively 

This video gives you some good tips on how to face the audience and use the stage during a presentation. I only wish the presenter smiled a little more. He doesn't seem so happy to be there! :)

Walking While Talking is .... Easy!

In this video, the commentator convinces us why movement is important for a presenter and how it impacts the audience. While he does share a few dos and don'ts about walking across the stage, he doesn't demonstrate the ideal stage walk that allows for maximum audience engagement.

Walk and Use Gestures

Zombie walking is reserved for the Thriller video! Don't do it on stage. Use natural gestures in addition to movement to appear more natural, confident and credible.

My Favorite Room and Stage Set Up

What is the best way to set up a room for a presentation? In my opinion, if it is a smaller group (5-20), set up the desks or tables in a horseshoe or U format. Use the stage in front of the tables/desks, but also walk inside of the open U. What? Walk inside? Most newbies to presenting fear this the most. The presenter is not the only one vulnerable here. The audience is too. No one can hide in this set up. You as a presenter can make eye contact easier with everyone. Everyone in the audience can make eye contact easier with you and with each other! In this video below, the presenter has set up the room in a U shape. When walking into the U, he walks facing the audience. When he exits the U, he often turns his back to the audience and walks out. The ideal method to leave the U is to walk backwards. The presenter does do this a few times. It takes practice and a bit of grace. Turing the back on the audience leaves a literal feeling of being ignored by the audience (lack of eye contact) and a figurative meaning as well. How would you feel if someone was talking to you and suddenly turned their back on you? Remember, the overarching goal of all communication - we want others to think good things about us, feel good things about us and do something with or for us.

Jennifer Kumar is a coach helping Indian executives prepare for and deliver more powerful presentations to impress their American and Western clients

Related Posts: 

Using Your Arms in a Presentation 
How Can I Use the Stage Effectively in a Presentation? 
How Can I Avoid Using the Lectern (aka Podium)?  

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