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Public Speaking Course: 

Line of Sight

In your public speaking course I will show you the proper way to set up your room to maximize its effectiveness for your presentation. During your speaking career you will notice that some rooms have crazy setups that don't make much sense. It's your job to be there early to make sure all those little details are taken care of. One of these details is the visibility of you and your visuals from every seat in the audience.

I have seen it so many times it doesn't even surprise me any more how a hotel room setup crew would put up a projection screen that only 2/3 of the audience could see. This usually happens when tables and chairs are placed too far forward in the room. The people on the sides are at much too sharp an angle to see anything on the screen and they only see you in profile.

Another situation is when there are pillars in the room. The normal setup people do is just put tables up to suit themselves and forget that the people sitting in the chairs might want to actually see what is going on at the stage. When you have pillars to deal with you must be very aware of where your position is on stage. You won't be able to be seen the entire time by everyone because of the pillars, but you can limit the time you are unseen by noting the worst areas of the stage with an 'X' of tape on the floor. Avoid standing still anywhere near the 'X.' It's OK to pass by or over the 'X,' just don't plant yourself on top of it.

It's your job to check every chair in the room to be sure every attendee has an unobstructed line of sight for each part of your presentation. They must be able to see the screen, the flipchart and to see you no matter where you walk to on the stage.

If possible, try to be in the room early when lots of setup crew are around so that you can make the adjustments before the room is totally set. Taking care of details like this is important to remember from your public speaking course.


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