PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

When presenting slides, on which side of the screen should the speaker stand?  Sometimes the podium is set up on the left.  Sometimes it’s positioned on the right.   The same holds true for where the laptop wiring is run. 

The “right” answer is determined by the language being used.  For a language that is read left to right—such as English—the presenter should stand to the audience’s left.  That is where the audience members will automatically look when they have finished reading what is on the screen.  The reverse is true for a language that is read right to left.

In other words, it is about the natural movement of people’s eyes.  It is best for a speaker to be positioned where eye contact with the audience members can most easily be re-gained after they have viewed a slide. 

This guideline does not have to be religiously followed, particularly if the room arrangement makes it difficult.  But, if either side of the screen is available, go to the side where the language begins.

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