While people have been presenting online for awhile now, many events are starting to go back in-person and some speakers are finding the switch difficult. This makes complete sense when we remember that we’ve been standing in front of a desk and only having to focus on a small rectangle in front of us. Now, people are being asked to feel comfortable standing up tall, in the middle of a room, as everything in their environment completely changes. All these new variables can add up quickly. Therefore, I wanted to share one technique that’s helped people transition back to presenting in-person.
Technique: Stand on a stool or chair as you stretch your arms to feel as big as possible and practice the first few minutes of your presentation. Then, safely step off the stool, let your arms down, and (while keeping that feeling of being open and tall) practice the first few minutes of your presentation again.
The reasoning behind this technique is that for the last few years we’ve been presenting next to a desk. When you go back in-person, there is no furniture grounding and anchoring you. Instead, you’re standing at the front of a room without anything around. That’s why I recommend practicing on a stool or in the center of a room, so you can get used to that feeling. Then, it'll be a lot easier to transition back to presenting in-person.
I also recommend stretching out your arms, or going into a power pose, because you want to feel as big as possible. Online, we don’t have to work very hard to fill the screen. However, if you’re in a large room, you want to fill the space. This requires you to practice that feeling before your next event.
If you're nervous about speaking in-person again, try this technique ahead of time to help you prepare for your next presentation.
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Bri McWhorter is the Founder and CEO of Activate to Captivate.