Sit & Deliver

Early next year, I’ll re-run ‘Stand & Deliver’ in the Workplace Presenter Tool Kit section of my site. It will summarize best practices for posture and movement when delivering to larger groups. But what about presenting to smaller groups sitting around the conference table? Got ya covered with these seven best practices. So …take a seat and dive in.

  • Look the part – while the setting may be more relaxed, presenters still need to project energy and professionalism. So, sit up with both feet planted on the floor. Don’t lean back or cross your legs.
  • Sit still – the swivel chair is not your friend. Don’t swivel or rock in it. While those actions might be comforting for you, they’re often annoying and distracting for the audience.
  • The eyes still have it – maintain the same degree and length of focused eye contact you would if you were standing. Avoid reading from your notes or screen. Refer to them as needed, but in silence.
  • Hands up – really. You still need to gesture as effectively as when standing. But, they must be above the table top so people can see them.
  • Hands apart – avoid hands together because that is often seen as nervous or ineffective. It helps to keep one hand in your lap a lot to make it harder to put them both together on the table.
  • Speak up – even though the room is smaller and you’re closer to the audience, you’re still farther away from their ears than with typical one-on-one conversation distance. Speaking up will also slow you down.
  • Limit your laptop – don’t let it get between you and them. It’s OK to have your laptop in your line of sight to use as a prompter or to change slides. But, just make sure it isn’t blocking anyone’s view of your upper body or face.

These seven best practices have helped lots of workplace presenters project confidence, competence and credibility when delivering from their seats. Do let me know how they work for you.

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