During the early stage of public speaking, people are mostly confused about how to use the stage effectively.
Where to stand and how, whether to move or not, to sit or to stand: these are some of the queries a new speaker has.
When you are on the stage and you see a podium is there, for most people it is a happy moment as they do not have to make much efforts now to cover the stage. They would just stand behind the podium and make the talk. A few times, waving the arms a bit would all they have to do.
In the past few years, public speaking has become harder but only for those who are not in a habit of speaking without a podium. You are not supposed to be carrying any notes with you but still speaking effectively and successfully.
There are numerous ways to use the stage:
- To keep on standing behind the podium/ lectern.
- To stand at a mono spot i.e. a particular spot and remain standing there for the entire presentation.
- To pace to & fro on the stage like a caged tiger or a lawyer while pursuing his case in the courthouse.
- Getting off the stage and go in the middle of the audience while interacting with them.
- Sitting down on the stage and speaking like an interviewee.
- To stand on the edge of the stage, right in front of the audience.
Your posture and stand can vary, depending on your experience, demographics of the audience, and the nature of the event or the ceremony, among other things.
Remember that there are people are sitting in front of you, on the right in front of you and on the left in front of you. So your movements and body language should be such that it gives an impression of being connected with the audience and also gives you confidence. You are not advised to do too much movement as it can be disturbing for the audience.
For the first 20 seconds of your talk you must stand sturdy, confident and comfortably in your place on the stage because that is the time when your audience sees you for the first time and is probably judging you. Use your hands but again not too much.
Start by seeing towards the audience sitting in front of you (for 15-20 seconds) then shift towards the audience on the right (your body should only partially move to the right) and then shift your view to the left after 20-25 seconds. After this again look to the audience in the front. You can further mix up the movements in the similar way.
Your movement should look natural and not choreographed and robotic.
Do not move on the stage without purpose and just for the sake of moving. For example, stay in one place when you are giving an example. Take a step forward when you start your talk. A few hand movements in and out would be good enough to boost your confidence.
During transitions, walk. This does not mean that you would climb the stage from left to right continuously. This can be distracting for the audience. What you need to do is just walk at your normal pace confidently, making an eye contact with the audience while you are transiting from one point to the other.
When you are on stage, do not hunch your shoulders. You have to be big and balanced. Keep your head straight up, feet pointing straight ahead.
While standing, you may also bend a little towards the audience off and on, again for the purpose of getting connected and getting attention on your point.
Next time when you get a chance to show your public speaking skills, you would be more confident saying goodbye to the podium.
To get a hands on experience of being on the stage, join us at ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Entrepreneurship & Public Speaking’ where you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development, Presentation Skills and Business Skills.
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