Lose the Lectern

Thoughts On Presenting And Design

The keynotes and break-out sessions all suffered from the same problem: detachment from the audience, both physical and emotional. Specifically, with the only available microphone attached to the lectern and no lavalier mics available, the presenters were stuck in one place and were prevented from interacting with the audience. Lisa Braithwaite has a great post where she discusses why you should avoid the lectern if you can.

“Duck and Cover” won’t help

Manner of Speaking

Motivation audience Bert the Turtle duck and cover lectern Nerves PowerPoint public speaking speak with convictionIn the years following World War 2, the threat of nuclear war hung over the world. As the United States and its allies faced the Soviet Union and its allies, a Third World War was a distinct possibility. Given the … Continue reading → The post “Duck and Cover” won’t help appeared first on Manner of Speaking.

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Should You Speak Behind a Lectern?

Executive Speech Coach

I suggest you do not use a lectern. Standing away from the lectern exposes your full body to the view of the audience. How Can You Use a Lectern Effectively? The problem is most speakers hide behind lecterns thereby greatly constraining important body language. In that case, a lectern with a light and microphone will help you get through your talk smoothly. Lecterns do make things look official. Judges always hide behind a lectern.) Maybe.

Using a lectern: do or don't?

Speak Schmeak

Following up on my post about where to put your notes , here's my quick tip about using a lectern: Don't. It's most important to use the tools that work for you and your audience. But using a lectern is problematic for several reasons. It creates a physical and psychological barrier between you and the audience. It's too tempting to lean on the lectern or grasp its sides for comfort. A lectern is great for holding your notes or hiding your props.

"How do you wean yourself from the lectern?" 4 ways

The Eloquent Woman

"How do you wean yourself from the lectern?" We were in a workshop about communicating with non-technical audiences, and I''d been talking about the types of public-speaking tactics scientists generally don''t use--but which better suit public audiences. Leaving the lectern and making a closer connection with the audience was among my recommendations. But they also serve as a barrier between you and the audience.

Another reason to avoid the lectern

Speak Schmeak

Lecterns are already a bad idea most of the time, and they don't make anyone look good as a speaker. But here's one more reason I dislike them: Unless you're using an adjustable lectern, a short person is at a greater disadvantage than a person of average or above-average height. Did you see how high John McCain had to raise his arms for his gestures to be seen over the top of his lectern? How much more of a connection might they make with their audience?

Public Speaking - Remove the Lectern

Great Public Speaking

To get started in your efforts to involve the audience I recommend that you take a big axe with you to each one of your presentations and chop the lectern into tiny little pieces. The behind-the lectern speaker is quickly going the way of the dinosaur. Make every attempt possible to avoid delivering your information from behind a lectern (unless protocol and/or logistics absolutely demand that you do).

Week 7: Use-or-lose lectern lessons

The Eloquent Woman

Choosing whether you'll use or lose the lectern is a major factor in adding presence to your presentation. Stephanie's just starting as a speaker, so here are some things to consider and know about lecterns, whether you use them or avoid them: Lecterns are the slanted stands that prop up your speech and hold the microphone. Lecterns have advantages: They're a natural focal point for the audience. Lecterns have disadvantages: They hide you, the speaker.

Speakers: It’s About Time (and How to Manage It)

Manner of Speaking

Let the audience know of any time changes. If the previous speakers have run over time and you have to cut your presentation from one hour to 40 minutes, let your audience know that in the interests of time you will keep your remarks to 40 minutes. Doing so will put many members of the audience (who will likely be annoyed at the previous speakers for going over time) at ease, especially if yours is the last presentation before lunch or a break.

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Week 7: A new speaker mulls the lectern

The Eloquent Woman

Here's Stephanie Benoit sharing her perspective on what a lectern might--or might not--do for her as a speaker. I've noticed that here and in earlier videos, she says she feels energized as an audience member when the speaker is dynamic and moving around. Stephanie, consider mapping out your presentation along with where and how you will move around the audience. Tags: step up your speaking contest speaker tipes speaker training lecterns

A Public Speaking Alphabet

Manner of Speaking

A - Audience. A speech is for the audience and about the audience. Do not overwhelm your audience with figures. Put the data into context to make it relevant for the audience. Here is a great presentation by Hans Rosling in which he takes enormous amounts of data and presents it in a way that the audience can understand. Speaking with emotion is one of the best ways to connect with the audience. b) Why should the audience care?

Speakers: It’s About Time (and How to Manage It)

Manner of Speaking

Let the audience know of any time changes. If the previous speakers have run over time and you have to cut your presentation from one hour to 40 minutes, let your audience know that in the interests of time you will keep your remarks to 40 minutes. Doing so will put many members of the audience (who will likely be annoyed at the previous speakers for going over time) at ease, especially if yours is the last presentation before lunch or a break.

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‘Mature, grown-up and statesmanlike’ Cameron at the lectern

Max Atkinson

So David Cameron did stay at the lectern for his big speech - and won the instant accolade of being ‘mature, grown-up and statesmanlike’ in one of the interviews with the party faithful a few seconds after he’d finished. It wasn’t that he excluded one half of the audience by hardly ever looking at them at all, as is likely to happen if you’re sitting to Gordon Brown’s right during a speech (see 'More tips for Gordon Brown').

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Like catnip for audiences: Irresistible speaker tactics

The Eloquent Woman

If only your audience for a speech or presentation could be totally focused on you, oblivious to the outside world, and completely happy when it's all over. The speaker's audiences, though, can be more difficult.like, say, herding cats? Try these tactics that act like catnip for audiences to pack an irresistible punch in your next presentation or talk: Include the improbable: Think about all the presentations and speeches you've endured.

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Step away from the Podium

Green Room Speakers

Podiums create distance between you and the audience. In this week's NYT, Michael Shear and Ashley Parker describe how Mitt Romney's speaking got much better once he stepped away from the lecturn: When Mitt Romney crammed for the Republican presidential debates four years ago, he went all out: The campaign built a stage with four lecterns and used senior staff as stand-ins for his rivals, John McCain and Rudolph W. Romney debate step away from the podium lectern

Making the audience your orchestra

The Eloquent Woman

I'm always urging my trainees to leave the lectern behind, use their bodies as a prop, move around to hold the audience's attention visually and most of all, to involve and engage the audience. And here are all those principles embodied in Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival, where he uses the pentatonic scale--and audience expectations--to make a point about how your brain is programmed. He gets the audience to become a group orchestra of sorts.

Public Speaking: Audience Gags

Great Public Speaking

Audience Gags Audience gags are offbeat jokes that occur unexpectedly during a presentation. He answers the phone that was hidden in the lectern and pretends to talk to his mother. Before the program, I picked out about 10 fun-loving audience members to help me. Get more great gags to wake up your audience! Dr. Joel Goodman, from the Humor Project, does one where a telephone rings during his presentation.

Two Ways to Let Your Audience Co-Create Presentation Content

More than PowerPoint...

Your audience has the technology. Here are two tech-driven ways to let your audience co-create presentation content. Audience interactivity is a big part of the draw of PollEverywhere. You ask your audience a question; they can answer using Twitter, text messages, or the web. The PollEverywhere online service instantly tabulates audience survey results in chart form in your PowerPoint presentation. They're carrying smart phones.

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Public Speaking: Audience Gags

Great Public Speaking

Audience gags are offbeat jokes that occur unexpectedly during a presentation. He answers the phone that was hidden in the lectern and pretends to talk to his mother. Before the program, I picked out about 10 fun-loving audience members to help me. Either before the program or at a break, I recruit audience members who are sitting near the front. I have virtually guaranteed the attention of each audience member.

New Logo for Manner of Speaking

Manner of Speaking

A microphone or lectern or speech bubble were some of the obvious ones. We need to step back and think about our audience, our subject and ourselves, and how each relates to the other. When your talk has begun, you need to look at the entire audience but also connect with individuals.

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Public Speaking : AUDIENCE GAGS

Great Public Speaking

Audience gags are off beat jokes that occur unexpectedly during a presentation. He answers the phone that was hidden in the lectern and pretends to talk to his mother. Before the program, I picked out about 10 fun-loving audience members to help me. Dr. Joel Goodman, from the Humor Project, does one where a telephone rings during his presentation. The same joke would be called a running gag if the phone rang at several other times during the program.

50 New Year’s Resolutions for Public Speakers

Manner of Speaking

I will always ask myself: “Why should the audience care about my message?” Or a new audience. I will make eye contact with the audience. I will find out as much as I can about my audience beforehand. I will focus on the audience and not myself. I will speak without using a lectern. I will remember that my audience doesn’t expect me to be perfect. I will remember that my audience does expect me to be present.

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50 New Year’s Resolutions for Public Speakers

Manner of Speaking

I will always ask myself: “Why should the audience care about my message?” Or a new audience. I will make eye contact with the audience. I will find out as much as I can about my audience beforehand. I will focus on the audience and not myself. I will speak without using a lectern. I will remember that my audience doesn’t expect me to be perfect. I will remember that my audience does expect me to be present.

2011 217

Executive Communications: Want Your Audiences to Remember What You Say?

Fripp THE Executive Speech Coach

Want Your Audiences to Remember What You Say? If not, the chances are that your thinking isn't clear enough for the audience to understand your purpose. And if you don't organize your material so the audience can remember it easily, they'll have a hard time grasping your message. Your next structural imperative is to use statements that make your audience ask "How?" " Immediately, my audience is asking themselves, "HOW can I do that?"

what to do when you're losing the audience

The Eloquent Woman

I just trained a group of nearly 100 scientists in speaker skills and message development for public audiences, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. We spent a lot of time talking about the need to start with your audience's needs, and the limited attention spans of modern audiences. So it was not a surprise when one participant asked, "What do you do if you're losing your audience's attention?"

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Two Ways to Let Your Audience Co-Create Presentation Content

More than PowerPoint...

Your audience has the technology. Here are two tech-driven ways to let your audience co-create presentation content. Audience interactivity is a big part of the draw of PollEverywhere. You ask your audience a question; they can answer using Twitter, text messages, or the web. The PollEverywhere online service instantly tabulates audience survey results in chart form in your PowerPoint presentation. They’re carrying smart phones.

Tip or treat: October's top 10 tips

The Eloquent Woman

Readers chose the tips and treats they found on this blog in October, and I'm happy to share them with you in this monthly roundup of our most popular posts: Should you use or lose the lectern? The focus of week 7 of our Step Up Your Speaking online coaching included this popular post with 3 video examples of women speakers demonstrating best practices, with or without a lectern. You can see online trainee Stephanie Benoit's thoughts on speakers and lecterns here.

Public Speaking: Using Audience Gags for Fun

Great Public Speaking

There are many ways a public speaker can have fun with an audience. Don’t be afraid to incorporate some audience gags to help get your points across during your public speaking presentation. The False Guest Speaker Use this gag to reduce pressure in the public speaking audience or to just have some fun. The imposter then rambles off on unrelated subjects woven through the real information so the audience becomes puzzled. Place your own heckler in the audience.

5 Tips on Presenting Like A Real Human

Can You Hear Me Up the Back?

Pause from time to time, and ask the audience questions. Leave The Lectern. Audiences judge naturalness the same way nature does: by watching, listening, and sniffing the breeze. Lecterns block all of that from view, leaving you as just a head poking up out of a box. If you want to come across as more human, loosen that death-grip on the lectern and come out where they can see you. “Good morning and welcome, ladies and gentlemen.&#. Pic Great Beyond.

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wear blue for your audience

The Eloquent Woman

News shows and newsmaking organizations have made the blue-curtain background ubiquitous to help the viewing audience, because this shade of blue: - flatters virtually every skin color ; - focuses attention where you want it ,on your face; and -for those with light hair (blonde or red), white hair, or no hair, adds the visual emphasis and focus that darker hair provides for others.

2007 40

8 scary ways to be a better speaker

The Eloquent Woman

I can tell, because I see speakers scared into the safe mode of speaking all the time , staying behind the lectern, using slides to advance their content, and limiting time for questions. You’ll improve by trying these scary—but fun and effective—ways to speak: 1) Move your body where the audience can see you. Yes, get out from behind that lectern, even if you stand to one side of it and rest an arm on it. 2) Move toward the audience. Speaking can be scary.

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50 New Year’s Resolutions for Public Speakers

Manner of Speaking

I will always ask myself: “Why should the audience care about my message?” Or a new audience. I will make eye contact with the audience. I will find out as much as I can about my audience beforehand. I will focus on the audience and not myself. I will speak without using a lectern. I will remember that my audience doesn’t expect me to be perfect. I will remember that my audience does expect me to be present.

2011 157

Ten Tips for Using Props in a Presentation

Manner of Speaking

The prop was effective because it gave the audience a very visual, very memorable sense of the basic structure of the brain, which was important for the rest of the talk. Make sure the audience can see the prop. The larger the audience, the more care you must take to ensure that everyone can see the prop. Even for small audiences, a speaker must be sure that people can see the prop. It was creative, unexpected and definitely grabbed the audience’s attention.

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A generous audience for Clegg - but why on earth draw attention to it

Max Atkinson

So the big plus this year was to see the Deputy Prime Minister looking rather more statesmanlike than usual by the simple device of staying firmly at the lectern. But there's another important lesson he still has to learn: if a particular line goes down well with your audience, don't comment on it or otherwise draw attention to it.

Presentation Barriers: Physical

Professionally Speaking...

Barriers are a hindrance between speaker and audience. We have enough challenges in engaging an audience without imposing a physical element that our message needs to travel through. Here are three physical barriers that can dilute a speaker's message and compromise an audience's experience. Teleprompters act as a barrier because they focus the speaker's attention somewhere other than on the audience and force him to remain stationary.

2010 117

Analysis of a Speech by Conan O’Brien

Manner of Speaking

In cold, windy weather and before a huge crowd, he took the stage and, for 24 minutes, wowed his audience. Seriously, it looks like something a bear would use at an AA meeting.&# (8:20) [ NB - In fact, a podium is the platform on which you stand; a lectern is the furniture on which you place your notes. ]. Even though he read from his notes and the two teleprompters, he still made great eye contact with the audience.

Ten Tips for Using Props in a Presentation

Manner of Speaking

The prop was effective because it gave the audience a very visual, very memorable sense of the basic structure of the brain, which was important for the rest of the talk. Make sure the audience can see the prop. The larger the audience, the more care you must take to ensure that everyone can see the prop. Even for small audiences, a speaker must be sure that people can see the prop. It was creative, unexpected and definitely grabbed the audience’s attention.

2011 147

Lecture vs. presentation

Speak Schmeak

One is about presenting: "a discourse given before an audience or class especially for instruction" or "a speech read or delivered before an audience or class, especially for instruction or to set forth some subject." A lecture and a lectern are just made for each other, by the way.) A lecture is a one-way spiel that doesn't invite audience interaction, assumes the speaker is the keeper of all the knowledge, and puts the speaker above the listeners.

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Presentation delivery tips for the greatest impact

PowerPoint Tips

These are the points I made: Lights: If possible, it’s best to keep the lights on so that the audience can see you and vice versa. Don’t read: The audience hates it when you read text on slides. Practice so that you can take one glance at the slide and then look at the audience to make your point. No lectern: Don’t have a big box between you and the audience.

Analysis of a Speech by Conan O’Brien

Manner of Speaking

Seriously, it looks like something a bear would use at an AA meeting.&# (8:20) [ NB - In fact, a podium is the platform on which you stand; a lectern is the furniture on which you place your notes. ]. Even though he read from his notes and the two teleprompters, he still made great eye contact with the audience. Analysis of a Speech audience public speaking Emotion Commencement speech Conan O'Brien Dartmouth College Jim Yong Kim Vox Clamantis The Tonight Show

Lecture vs. presentation

Speak Schmeak

One is about presenting: "a discourse given before an audience or class especially for instruction" or "a speech read or delivered before an audience or class, especially for instruction or to set forth some subject." A lecture and a lectern are just made for each other, by the way.) A lecture is a one-way spiel that doesn't invite audience interaction, assumes the speaker is the keeper of all the knowledge, and puts the speaker above the listeners.

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Four lessons for speakers -- from Broadway

Speak Schmeak

So the audience sees that you have notes. As long as the notes aren't crippling the flow of your presentation or creating a distraction for you, who cares if they're sitting on the lectern off to the side? As long as you integrate your tools and don't blow your cool if something goes wrong, the audience will be fine with seeing the strings and gears of your presentation. Don't let your visuals overwhelm you or the audience. Download audio here.

2010 153

Public speaking gestures: Too many "don'ts"

Speak Schmeak

The suggestions included: Don't stroke your beard, don't push your hair back, don't touch what you're wearing, don't put your hands in your pockets, don't hold them at your waist, don't put them behind you or in front of you, don't lean on the lectern, don't restrict your movements, don't have too many movements, and more. If you inhibit your gestures or use repetitive and unconscious movements, the audience will indeed notice.

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