Public Speaking: Room Setup

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Public Speaking: Audience Consideration....5

For public speaking, the room setup should support audience interaction and comfort. Set up the room with tips from a communication specialist in this free video on public speaking.

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Video Transcript

Here's something that's really important to audience interaction, room set-up. I walked into so many rooms that were set up with the chairs in classroom format. That's actually the least useful. When you're giving a presentation to a group of people that you really want to engage, in a classroom set-up, people feel very formal and they're sitting somewhere in the audience either looking directly at you in the front row or they're looking at the backs of the heads of all the other people in the room. It tends to make people feel very restraint. The other problem with classroom set-up is they're probably going to be people that can't see you and or cant' see the visual aids. So what am I saying here? You can change the room set-up. I've actually said that to people who said, "you can do that"? To which I've said, "heck yeah". It's just not hard to move the furniture around and in fact most places that have people that set up the furniture will send those people right back in to help you move the furniture in whatever way you want. I've ran across an occasional person who says, "no it should always be classroom style". To that person I will always say, "how about if I set it right back on classroom style when I'm done so you won't know the difference". And then, you know, they'd leave the room going, "you put it back the way it's supposed to be and I'm happy". The better set up is U-shape, but bottom line, you just want to make sure that there aren't too many chairs, there aren't too few chairs and that everybody can see you at all times and can see the visual aids at all times. Similarly, it's very important that you make sure that the temperature is right. If it's too hot, people are going to fall asleep. If it's too cold, people are going to sit and shiver and be mad at you. Remember that human beings have very basic needs that need to be met, no matter how outstanding your presentation is. If people cant' see, if they can't hear, if they're too cold, if they're too hot, they don't want to be in the room. In other words, they won't stay engage.

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