If you want to engage your audience, move!

Lectern on stageStanding behind a lectern is the easy option.

It’s traditional, it’s expected and it provides a wonderful shield between us and the audience.

How do our audience see a speaker stood behind a lectern?

Traditional, expected and shielded from them.

In other words, completely unengaging.

If we want to really connect with our audience then we need to move.

We need to move closer to our audience to engage them, and we need to move around to bring our stories to life.

The lectern lends itself to neither of these things.

So next time you have to stand up and speak, don’t stand still, leave the lectern.

Step towards your audience and use the full space of your stage to being your story to life.

Use different ends of the stage for different sides of your argument, illustrate characters within your story by their position on the stage. Even use your stage as a time line, explaining the history of your company from left to right.

Whatever you do, don’t be traditional, expected and tied to your lectern: Don’t stand still.

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Rich Watts is the UK Business Speaker of the Year and a past JCI National Public Speaking champion. He setup and now runs Rich Public Speaking providing presentation skills and public speaking training.

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