To Lectern or Not to Lectern, that is the Question.

As a public speaker, your ultimate goal should be to own the stage, build an instant rapport and deliver a stellar presentation that will leave your audience impressed.

Venues aren’t the same. So, depending on what is available, you may have the option to use a lectern or you may perhaps opt to freely move around the room. It’s important to identify which mode of presentation suits your personality and makes you feel comfortable. Ensuring that you are presenting in a style which best allows you to convey your comfortability and passion will ensure your presentation has the greatest impact.

There are positives and negatives to both approaches, so to ensure you are making the choice that best suits your presentation-style, here are a number of things to consider:

5 Considerations when deciding on your Delivery Style

1.Lecterns provide a crutch. For those public speakers who require a little more confidence, a lectern can be a valuable tool in their arsenal allowing them to more clearly articulate their points. It can provide a safe alternative to the dreaded shaking hands and speech notes that so easily draws the audiences attention.

2.There are, however, a number of traps that anyone can fall into if they are hiding nervously behind a lectern; all of which will draw attention away from the message trying to be imparted on the audience. Tapping your fingers on the top or sides of the lectern, rocking back and forth and swaying from side to side are the usual suspects. A not-so-obvious one is holding your notes as they sit on the lectern, which will severely limit your hand movements giving the appearance of a talking statue. Ultimately, not particularly engaging.

3.If you decide to move around whilst presenting, you are forcing your audience to move their heads and eyes to follow you, which can be a safe way to keep your listeners attentive.

4.By walking around, you also have the chance to get closer to your audience. Be sure to make eye-contact with members of your audience as this makes it much more difficult for them to become complacent or to switch-off during your talk.

5.Remember though, do not pace. This can be incredibly distracting, so if you find yourself pacing up and down the stage like a caged lion at the zoo, you might want to consider moving back to the safety of the lectern.

Its important when making this decision to not feel compelled to undertake either one of these presenting styles simply because the person who spoke before or after you did. If you feel confident to ditch the lectern in favor of walking around during your presentation, then you’ll benefit from the additional engagement with the audience, but remember to only do this if it fits in with your presenting style and you are comfortable to do so.

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