Friday, January 30, 2009

Public Speaking: Doors And Windows

When deciding how to set up a presentation room when you have full control of the logistics, pay close attention to these two major distracters . . . doors and windows.


A. They may have squeaky hinges -- Solution: ask maintenance to oil them.
B. They may have really loud latches -- Solution: use the masking tape in your accessories bag (you do have one right?) to tape the latch so that you don't hear it engage when the door opens and closes. Also, make a sign and have it with your notes that says,"In session. Please enter quietly" or something like that.

If possible you want to face the doors so that every time someone enters or leaves they are not distractingly in the line of site of the audience. If you are a humorous presenter, you may deliver pre-planned ad libs to people coming and going because you will see them instantly.

WINDOWS (not the computer kind although we know they can betrouble too :) )

Windows can cause lighting problems when showing visuals and be extremely distracting especially if there is beautiful scenery orother distractions outside. I try to close the curtains if at all possible to knock out both of those problems at once.
If there are no curtains, you may have to really scramble to rethink your visuals which in bright daylight might be impossible to see. In desperation circumstances I've taped up , flip chart paper (it's not that good) wrapping paper, and news paper, but in every one of those case things still weren't that good. One time I hung my overcoat over a window. The more you know about the room in advance, the better you'll do.

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