In my coaching practice I will often encourage a client to do one thing, and sometimes they tell me that they’d rather do another. The beauty in being a coach is that I get to work with my clients to figure out what presenting style works and feels best for them. There is no “right” or “wrong” in coaching, only improvement upon what was there before and making your best self shine through to the audience. Take what you find helpful from my posts and work it into your own presentations; then try it out and adjust accordingly. Read the other Style Snapshot posts and stay tuned in the coming weeks for more.
Presentation Style: Wanderer
Description: There is something to be said for animation and movement during a presentation, as without it you can give the impression of being nervous and rigid (see my post on The Plank for more). The Wanderer definitely knows how to utilise the space provided and has even been known to leave the stage, sometimes without prior consultation with the sound and lighting technicians, forcing them to make key adjustments on the fly. All of this moving around is actually a tactic to deal with a lot of pent-up nervous energy that needs to be expelled. If you think you may be a Wanderer, strap on a pedometer before your next presentation and see just how far you travelled!
Cons: When watching the Wanderer speak in front of a group, the audience can feel like they’re watching a game of tennis, with the speaker, much like the ball, going back and forth, left to right to left to right – it’s exhausting! The poor audience members in the very front row could leave with a sore neck or a case of whiplash! For those (like myself) who may be a little clumsy, there is a very real possibility of bumping into things or accidentally stepping off the stage. The presenter is also at risk of getting winded part way through the presentation because of all the walking, and may even be unable to complete his or her presentation in a smooth manner. This is particularly concerning with a long presentation.
Pros: Very much like the Conductor, the Wanderer is definitely engaging to the audience and will hold their attention with movements and gestures. For a very technical presentation with a lot of rather dry information, this can be helpful. Those who move their bodies a lot during presentations also have a tendency to speak quickly, which can shorten the time of the presentation ever so slightly – and no one ever complained about a presentation ending a little early! And of course for the presenter themselves, well this is one way to stay in shape, albeit not the most effective.
Have you been guilty of getting in your daily walk during a presentation? Let me know if you are a Wanderer: find me on Facebook, Tweet at me or send me an email. Follow my social media to read about the rest of the categories, and if you’d like to work on developing your own presentation skills I would be happy to schedule a complimentary consult with you.
And remember: a presentation is simply a large conversation.