22 Oct 2019

5 Tips for Podium Power

We’ve all seen it, the person at the podium keeps looking down or makes various hand movements that affect the sound and visual effects of the entire stage setting. Don’t let that person be you.

Here are some easy tips to help you power up at the podium and Own Your WOW!

1. Avoid lip smacking: Close your mouth after you complete a sentence. The microphone picks up any extraneous mouth movements that could make you sound like a rookie.

2. Keep strong eye contact: Look up, especially when you say your own name. You’re off to a poor start if you need notes to welcome the audience or say your own name. I’m a big fan of NO notes. But if you must have notes, keep it to a 1-sheet or note card. Have a conversational open and close that you can just speak rather than memorize. If you’re on that stage, someone thinks you’re big-time. If you must have a script, heavily practice with it and colorize sections for easy look-up and look-down moments. Don’t appear unprofessional by reading all your remarks.

3. Be Aware of the Screen: Often, your podium image is being projected onto one or more big screens around the room. The program might be streaming live or on closed circuit TV. No matter the situation, people see everything. Make sure your wardrobe works and your hair and clothing are not distracting. Also, look up. Once again, a lack of eye contact is even more obvious when other screens are part of the performance.

4. Be aware of your microphone. If it’s a podium mic, do not clap into it. My suggestion is to invite the audience to applaud if that’s what seems logical. You can either keep your hands down or air clap. It’s in stereo when you clap for real. Even with a lav microphone, it’s okay for the person at the podium to not clap.

5. Share a personal line or remark: Audiences love it when you make the content your own. An easy way to do this is to share a short story about anyone you’re introducing or the person being honored. Or wrap your remarks with a customized and personal line to the audience. The sky’s the limit with options for you to personalize.

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