If you’re watching the debates during this election season, you are seeing candidates speaking from behind the podium. In terms of their delivery and messaging some are good, some not so good.
From a delivery standpoint, styles range from stiff and wooden to easy and conversational. A lot of success comes from being prepared (really prepared) and then being equally comfortable on the stage.
The problem with a podium is that it creates a barrier between you and your audience so you have to work harder physically to access your energy and natural style.
This month a couple of speakers I’m coaching for events are required to use a podium due to the nature of their talks and venue. Although it’s preferable not to use one, there are times when you may have to as well.
If you ever find yourself in a situation in which you will be presenting from one, here’s a quick tip to keep in mind:
Stand one foot back from it most of the time.
This will give you enough room to gesture as you normally do. And yes, it’s okay to occasionally rest your hands lightly on the podium.
Keep it conversational and remember it’s intended to support your notes, not you!