Presentations: How To Use The Stage

Stage Positioning

Too many presenters spend the duration of their presentation standing in the exact same spot. By using the whole stage you have the ability to engage your audience and help them to visualise your message.

Different display types may affect the way in which you use the stage in the following ways:

  • A front projector will restrict your positioning as you will be unable to stand in front of the screen (which is commonly centre stage) as you will create a shadow on the display
  • A television screen, back or keystone corrected projector will allow you to use the whole stage freely

Try incorporating the following three techniques in your next presentation:

1. Create a timeline

In the West, people associate the past with their left, and the future with their right. The key thing to remember is the audience's perception of left and right is the opposite of your own.

If you're telling a story, or explaining your company's progress, position yourself:

  • on the audience left (your right) for the past
  • in the middle for the present
  • and on the audience right (your left) for the future

2. Focus their attention on you or the slides

If you want your audience to focus on your slides try standing closer to the screen, and If you want them to read a customer testimonial then half turn towards the screen as if you are reading it yourself.

Walking away from your slides and towards your audience takes draws the audience's focus towards you. 

3. Give different options their own spot

When presenting different arguments or choices, give each item their own place on stage. When you talk about a particular item make sure you always return to its assigned spot. This way it will be easier for your audience to keep track of which points belong to which item.

This method is also particularly useful if you are telling a story with more than one character. By giving each character their own place on the stage you avoid confusing your audience. 

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