Get Out From Behind the Lectern

Posted by Kristin Arnold on January 12, 2011

Most presenters stand behind a lectern if it is in the room.  Don’t do it!  Although a handy place to put your notes, the lectern creates a physical barrier between you and your audience.  Stand to the side of it, or put your talking points on one sheet of paper.

You can’t connect with your audience if you are standing behind a lectern, table, chair, or other physical obstacle between you and your audience.  I recently witnessed a corporate Vice President pull a chair in front of him, creating a subliminal barricade between him and the audience.  Awkward, as he was professing he wanted the group’s input!  Did he get their comments and suggestions?  No, he did not.  Not until he sat down, and then it took a while to jump-start the group into a meaningful conversation.

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