PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

When it comes to showing slides, the one thing most presenters could do better is to get out of the way so that everyone can see the slides.

You would not think that such a basic consideration would even need to be mentioned, but presenters who block people’s view are in the majority.

I know from providing feedback in workshops that most speakers don’t realize what they are doing.  You can even warn them in advance of the problem and two minutes later they are blocking someone’s view.

The worst offenders roam around in front of the screen, often letting the projector shine on them.  But even more considerate presenters typically don’t back up far enough to let the closest audience members see.

Before you present, consciously work out the lines of sight and establish your boundaries.  Where do you need to stand so that even the people farthest to the side can see?  Imagine a dotted line on the floor marking this boundary. 

If you are going to be seriously constrained, consider moving some chairs or repositioning the screen.  If the seating layout allows it, one of the best arrangements is to have the screen off-center to the right and angled toward the audience.  This frees up more space for the speaker on the audience’s left (the appropriate side for languages read left to right).

However you choose to arrange things, the objective is simple: When a slide is showing, everyone can see it.

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