Public Speaking Training:
I see professional public speakers make this mistake all the time. They don't
stand still when they are presenting. It is very distracting for the audience to
try to listen and comprehend what someone is saying when they are constantly
wandering all over the stage. You can practice being still while taking your
public speaking training.
I have stated in previous public speaking training articles that you should
move at least three steps, in a particular direction -- and for a purpose --
whenever you move on stage. That type of movement is completely different than
what I am talking here. Small to and fro movements during your presentation is
very distracting to your audience and takes away from your message.
As we move into a century that will start to include more distance learning
and TV training, keeping still is even more important than ever before. When you
are presenting to an audience and cameras are sending your message across the
country or around the world make sure your not constantly moving around and keep
your gestures smaller.
When you are on TV or video your movements are magnified. I got a good
reminder of this lesson while doing the weather and traffic report for a news
station in Orlando, Florida. They put me at an anchor desk and turned me loose
with a set script on the teleprompter. I was all set to be my highly animated
Well, needless to say my normal performance looked absolutely ridiculous on
In fact, it wasn't even close to being acceptable for the tight shot they
used. I had to stay perfectly still with the exception of my head and eye
movement and facial expressions.
You can practice this at home with a simple video camera zoomed in to a tight
close up shot. Either stand or sit and don't move your shoulders and arms at
all. Talk to the camera and only allow movement from the neck up. To do an el
cheapo simulation of a teleprompter, cellophane tape a script on to the bottom
of the lens of the camcorder.
From your public speaking training you will learn to adapt to the stage you are
on, live on stage or live on camera. Once you master this technique and can
convey all your non-verbal information with only head movement and facial
expression, and remember folks communicate with their eyes, and in a close up,
so should you. You can add small amounts of body, arm and shoulder movement as
the video shot gets wider.