Recently I was asked to present to a group of employees across three different states. When I arrived on presentation day, I was invited into a conference room where I sat in front of a webcasting camera to deliver 3 hours of prepared content. For someone who is a perpetual chair fidgeter, this was a daunting perspective for me. But I knew that in order to deliver the highest quality presentation for this environment, sitting was necessary.
For many presenters, sitting is while presenting is just part of the game. You find yourself in a boardroom or a coffee shop and must make the most of whatever setting you are in.
With this in mind, we’ve put together 4 tips to nail your next seated presentation.
Sit on the edge of your seat.
One of the downfalls of presenting while seated is your inability to maintain good posture. The fact of the matter is that maintaining a professional posture in a chair is a very challenging task. However, by sitting on the edge of your chair, you force your back to engage and keep your posture upright. Sitting forward also communicates a sense of engagement and excitement about what you’re sharing which will show your audience how important your content is.
Choose a stationary chair.
We have all seen how distracting a swivel chair can become in a professional setting. This is especially true if you are someone who has a difficult time sitting still. That’s why it is important that if you must present sitting down you find a chair that is stationary and unable to move. This will allow you to stay focused and limit distractions caused by movement. If you are unable to find a stationary chair, be sure to lock the swivel on your board room chair to prevent this distracting shortfall.
Increase hand gestures.
When presenting from a seated position, your hand movements become a vital tool to keeping your audience engaged. Since more than half of your body language will not be visible, your hands become the primary tool for communicating via body language. Be sure to elevate your gestures when presenting from this position. It is important, however, to find the balance between elevated body language and over the top, chaotic gesturing. You don’t want to risk your presentation feeling fake or inauthentic.
Speak with your face.
Much like hand signals, your facial expressions when presenting from a seated position are key. Be sure to speak with your face using the same level of emotion that you are associating with each part of your presentation. This will help your audience stay connected and engaged with what you are sharing as they feel the emotion and excitement coming from your facial expressions.
Presenting from a seated position is never the most ideal situation. But by implementing these 4 tips, you will find that it does not have to be your enemy. In fact, presenting from a seated position is a great opportunity to create a conversational experience rather than simply presenting information.
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