As a presenter/speaker, I genuinely want what I share to be impactful to those listening. So, as I seek to grow in my craft, I have come to discover that presenting/speaking can be similar to tires in that both can become over-inflated or under-inflated, often creating a negative impact. In previous posts I shared examples of how a speaker may over-inflate her/his presentation by having a misguided attitude, including K.I.S.S., forgetting the value of one and the improv myth.
Today, I’d like to consider under-inflation, or misguided actions, as a snare presenters/speakers should avoid to avoid derailing the impact of our message.
Movement is good, unless it’s not.
When speaking, static is fine, even powerful, for a short period. But rarely is static good for an entire presentation. Movement can add a dynamic quality to any presentation. Movement without purpose, however, will often deflate a presentation of its potency by creating a distraction for the audience. Presenters who know the importance of movement but are not trained in the art of it will often default to random movement, such as a two-step (shuffling side to side) or pacing (resembling a caged animal). The non-purposeful movement becomes distracting for the audience, negatively impacting the message. Non-purposeful movement may have its origin in being novice or nervous, but if not consciously addressed, it will become a bad habit.
So, create a plan. We should consider specific movements that utilize the entire presentation stage, including when to sit if appropriate and possible. Strategic moments that direct our focus can also deepen the impact of our message.
Then, practice. Let us not fall prey to the improv myth and just wing it. There is value in practicing our physical presentation just as we do our verbal presentation, even video-tape practice sessions. Then we will know when movement is good, unless it’s not.
In my next post on under-inflating presentations through misguided actions, we will consider when/how we upstage the message.
About the Author
Shawn Ritchey is an educator and storyteller who finds great joy in breathing life into each presentation in which he plays a part. The imagery of breathing life is significant as he spent nearly three decades in emergency services as an EMT. Additionally, Shawn spent over 15 years in the wellness industry as a licensed massage therapist, and on individual projects as a safety and health consultant.
As an educator, Shawn specializes in safety and wellness subjects where he blends his EMT and massage therapy experience with his professional theater background to provide energized education you’ll remember. As a corporate storyteller, Shawn can partner with your organization to either reinforce important messages you already have, or provide presentations that will both equip and inspire. As an inspirational storyteller, Shawn offers seasonal or theme-based monologues that will entertain and even encourage viewers to action.
Shawn’s commitment, passion and skillset equip and inspire others to remember what they have learned so a life — theirs or someone else’s — can be improved, made well or kept safe. Contact Shawn directly at (206) 355-9926
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