A reader recently asked that question and here’s a summary of my reply.
Presenters should generally stand on the audience’s left where possible:
- Logical flow of their gaze from speaker to slide and back to speaker – assuming English content, of course.
- Also easier for speakers to glance at the screen – in silence – if they’re using it as a prompter.
- If there’s no remote and the podium is on the audience’s right – shame on someone, but make the best of it. Just don’t stand behind the podium … ever – a very negative non-verbal message.
I stress with my coaching clients that movement while presenting is fine, but only if it’s logical and motivated. Movement for the sake of movement is distracting. As speakers move closer to one part of the audience, they move away from other parts, so a little goes a long way.
And obviously avoid moving in front of the screen. That screams ‘amateur’ at the audience loud and clear.
So, stand and deliver with Power and Success … on their left!