If you’re going to make last minute tweaks to your deck, adjusting it for the room is one that could be very worthwhile.
Provided you’re not the opening keynote speaker for an event, chances are that they’ll be someone else presenting on the stage before you do. As much as you might want to hide away backstage and busy yourself with making insignificant tweaks to your slidedeck, take the time out and visit the room.
Watching someone else present from the stage you’ll be walking later is a great opportunity to improve your stagecraft. Pay attention to where they’re standing. Are they blocking their slides, or hidden by a lectern? Where should you stand to be correctly lit and not be in the shadows?
Pay attention to what the person on stage is doing. Do they look like they can see their slides and notes comfortably? Where have they put their water, and is it distracting to the audience when they reach for it?
Check out their slides and how they look on the projector. How is the contrast, and are all parts of the screen clearly visible and unobstructed for the audience? If you’re going to make last minute tweaks to your deck, adjusting it for the room is one that could be very worthwhile.
There will always be some things you can’t change, but there’s often a few things you can improve simply by being aware how the stage looks from the auditorium. So take your time and visit the room!
Advent speaker tips: this is part of a series of tips for public speakers that we’re posting throughout advent. Check back daily during December for more.