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Public Speaking Course:

Line of Sight

During my public speaking course you will learn how to be prepared for any possible situation during set up as well as how to properly set up your room. When you learn how to set up your room right you will maximize the effectiveness of your audience. During your career, you will notice that some rooms have crazy setups that make absolutely no sense at all. It's your job to be there early and make sure all the little details are taken care of. One of these details is the visibility of you and your visuals from each chair in the audience.

It never ceases to amaze me how a hotel setup crew would put up a projection screen that 1/3 of the audience couldn't possibly see. I see this kind of thing all the time. Usually this happens when tables or chairs are placed too far forward in the room. The people on the sides are at much too sharp an angle to see anything on the screen, so they only see your profile.

Another problem you might encounter is when there are big columns in the room. The people that setup usually just put tables up anywhere and forget that the people sitting in the chairs might want to actually see what is going on. When you have columns to deal with you must be very aware of how every seat will see the stage. You won't be able to be seen the entire time by everyone because of the pillars, but you can limit the time you are unseen by marking the worst areas of the stage with an 'X' of tape on the floor. Avoid standing still anywhere near the 'X.' It's OK to pass by or over the 'X,' just don't keep yourself near it for your whole presentation.

It's your job as a good public speaker who cares for their audience, to check every chair in the room to be sure every attendee will have an unobstructed line of sight for your presentation. They must be able to see the screen, the flipchart and to see you no matter where you walk to on the stage.

If possible, try to be in the room early when lots of setup crew are around so that you can make the adjustments before the room is totally set. Taking care of details like this is important to remember from your public speaking course.

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