We’ve come to the final installment of our series on how not to let a great message get lost in poor delivery. (To catch up on the other posts, click here, here and here.)
What else besides voice, eye contact and hand gestures make for a bang-up delivery?
Placement and posture.
Placement refers to where you are standing on the platform. Posture is how you are standing on the platform.
Let’s start with placement. When standing on stage, be sure to remember the following:
~ The podium is your anchor not your everything. Yes, you will most likely start behind the podium. Yes, you will return there often to check your notes to see which point or story is next. But DO NOT just stand behind the podium for your entire message. You’ll lose your audience fast.
~ Wander. Yes, vary your placement on the stage. At times walk off to your left to make a point. Next, when you are telling a story, wander to the right. You may even go out front to emphasize your message. Don’t hide behind the podium. Wander away!
~ Change directions. In your wandering, don’t just face the audience squarely. At times look from an angle from where you are. So, if you are off to your right, anlge toward the audience on your left and vice versa.
Now, let’s talk posture.
~ Grandma was only partially right. Did grandma tell you to always “stand up straight?” Well, she was only partly correct. Yes, good posture is important. (No one wants to watch a slumping, hunch-backed speaker) but there are times you must mix it up.
~ Lean in to make a point. Are you letting your audience in on a little secret? Lean forward as if to be letting them in on it but keeping it from the world at large.
~ Lean back to make a point. Blown away by a statistic or a move someone made? Lean back in an “I can’t believe it!” way.
~ Lean on the podium. At times a casual, know-it-all lean on the side of the podium can also make a point during a story or point.
~ Shift those shoulders. Want to show dejection? Drop your shoulders. Want to show pride? Hike them up and back. Not sure if the audience got a point? Shrug them in an “I dunno?” way.
As a speaker trying to impart a message in a memorable way, utilize both placement and posture to your advantage and make sure that great message doesn’t get lost in a poor delivery.