Where you stand during your speech is a non-verbal communication between you and the audience that can make or break you as a speaker. We have all seen a speaker planted behind the lectern holding on for dear life. Sometimes standing behind the lectern is appropriate, especially if there is a fixed microphone, but I like to move. I have seen powerful speeches given by speakers standing behind a lectern, but if you are going to do that then you must engage with other forms of nonverbal communication. Eye contact, acknowledgement of individuals or small groups, emotion, pauses, etc will enhance your presence and your connection with the audience. If you have some flexibility as to where you stand, you must avoid certain mistakes such as pacing. Pacing is a natural nervous motion unconsciously employed by many amateur speakers. The best way to counter pacing is by planting and moving with purpose. When you begin your speech, do so from a power position, planted in front of the room. Don’t move unessesarily. The best time to move is when you finish a thought. Walk to another point in the room or on the stage and plant your feet. This is called moving with purpose. When you have no clear intent regarding your movement, the audience becomes distracted and uncomfortable.
TALKING TIP: PRACTICE MOVING WITH PURPOSE IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU PRACTICE YOUR VERBAL DELIVERY.
· WRITE WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO MOVE INTO YOUR SCRIPT. EVEN IF YOU DON’T STICK TO IT, IT’S A BLUEPRINT THAT WILL HELP.