A real step forward in #presentationskills is out from behind the lectern. This simple movement on stage engages the audience and frees the presenter. It also leaves some speakers unsure of what to do next. Recently I’ve observed a few particular behaviour types. Do you recognise any?
The Power Poser.
There is an intriguing scientific debate behind the physiological realities of The Power Pose. It certain “says” something to an audience about the speaker and their authoritative position on their topic. Chosing to deliver a presentation whilst voguing this shape may make the presenter feel strong enough to overcome their nerves but it is exceptionally challenging to the audience. It probably works well for Wonder Woman but isn’t ideal for a whole delivery.
The lectern provides solidity and protection. Stepping out from behind it some presenters immediately recognise the loss of this and are unable to move any further. Their comfort is restored by contact with the lectern and this soon becomes a comfortable lean. The lean is not a good look though. It is overly casual and after a few moments suggests a lack of value in both the audience and the topic at hand.
Some speakers recognise that a fixed stance is uncomfortable both for them and for the audience but that they have no purpose in actual movement. This leaves them stuck between a rock and a hard place and in reality they attempt to move between the two rocking forwards into nearly moving and then backwards into not moving. Bizarrely a fair amount of change can be achieved without actually moving their feet but the rocker, like the chair of the name, never actually does get anywhere. It also leaves the audience similarly expectant and disappointed.
The Zombie Shuffle
A step forward from The Rocker is the speaker who feels they want to move but have little purpose or speed. Consequently they tend to have an ungainly and purposeless rather zombie like movement as they shuffle across the stage. Some become so fixed by their fear that muscle tone increases and all that is missing from their movement is the gore or the soundtrack.
Hopefully this is received in the spirit in which it was intended. A valued step in presentation skills is in moving out from behind the lectern. Try to relax, move purposefully and confidently from one position to another and engage the audience as you do so. This will increase the p cubed value of your presentation.
What about the circulator who just goes round and round in circles.
I know this one as I have been very guilty of same 😉
Absolutely. And one I am guilty of as well. I am realising that there is more to p3 than simply delivery and that movement around the stage requires some choreography and purpose to avoid giving the impression of disconnectedness or fear. More on stagecraft I think would be valuable.