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How to speak and get your message accross in front of people - a basic guide that the pro's will find useful too...


  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 1



    getting your message across in front

    of people

    Results Rules OK...

    David Holland MBA

    The Results Guy

    June 2011

    E Book #8

  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 2


    1. Introduction

    2. Room Logistics

    3. Materials and Props

    4. The process of Presenting

    5. About Results Rules OK the marketing bit...

  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 3

    1. Introduction.

    There is well worn introduction that professional and amateur speakers use that suggests

    that based upon research about peoples fears and phobias, speaking in public is scarier

    than death, spiders or heights

    Whether the fear factor is quite as great as that depends on the audience, the venue and of

    course the speaker. The first time I had to speak in public was in the school debating team

    when as part of a small team we had to debate a subject with authority and eloquence.

    I can remember feeling physically sick as we walked onto the stage and took our seats. I

    was unable to hold eye contact, my mouth went dry, I was sweating I came out with some

    wide ranging Bull@*#+ about our given topic. Time stood still, it was the longest 30 minutes

    of my life even worse we won our round and had to go through the ordeal again in the


    Since that somewhat inauspicious start, I have spent in excess of 1500 hours physically on

    stage presenting, training and inspiring people in 21 countries plus 15 states on the USA. I

    still get nervous; I have learned how to overcome the fear and present what I hope are

    engaging, moving and informative presentations the propensity to Bull@*#+ however, has

    remained according to some

    I have also learned that being a god presenter is a great way of becoming the expert, it

    enables me to attract clients, position my knowledge and expertise in public and helps

    build both my brand and reputation. In short, in business, if you can present well to people

    you will elevate your sales, your career and your income in direct proportion to you skill on


    I learned my early stage craft from my time as a professional rock drummer. Strange as it

    may sound, but the stage disciplines that make for a successful rock band are very similar

    to those used by top speakers and entertainers the same rules apply.

    So this paper will give you a guide through the best practice that I have learned on stages

    throughout the world, presenting to some of the toughest audiences that are out there

    business owners and entrepreneurs just like you

  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 4

    2. Room Logistics.

    Where ever possible make sure that you have control of the room you own it before and

    whilst you are on stage. This can be a challenge if you are presenting at someone elses

    function or event, but where you can, always check on the following.

    Seating this will depend on the size of audience and the type of presentation you are

    doing. For workshops and training events the audience must have tables to write on and

    space for pens paper etc. Depending on the size of the audience and the venue, the tables

    can be round and laid out Cabaret, style with people only sat around one side of the table

    so that they can all get a good view of you and your materials.

    This layout allows you to be able to connect with everyone from the stage, they can take

    plenty of notes, and each table can develop its own personality and this can be used by

    the skilful presenter to add to the experience.

    Another favourite and more efficient use of space is to use the Herringbone layout. This

    uses rectangular tables with 6 or 8 people sat at each one. They still have plenty of room

    and are able to take notes easily although they will have their seats placed at 90 degrees to

    the table and will have to twist to write anything or if they sit facing the table they will

    have to twist to see you.

    The other challenge with this is that if people sit facing the tables and have to twist to see

    you they may simply start a conversation between themselves as it is more comfortable to

    do that than listen to you there is a possibility of losing the audience with this layout,

    more than with the Cabaret style.

    When using the Herringbone approach the table should be laid out so that with the centre

    stage as a focal point, all tables fan out in straight lines so that you have direct eye contact

    with everyone regardless of where they are in the room.

    Stage Area

    Cabaret Style Seating Arrangement

  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 5

    The Herringbone works really well for getting lots of people into an efficient workspace. I

    have literally stood on stage with a long rope and guided the team to align the tables along

    it when it is stretched out from the central focal point on the stage looks very impressive

    in a large room when done properly.

    Remember with any layout to accommodate entrance aisles, emergency exits and if you are

    going to bring people to the stage for awards for example make sure that there is plenty

    of room for them to get through the tables and that the steps up to the stage are solid and

    secure they should access the stage from one of the sides not the front of the stage..

    The other most popular seating arrangement is theatre style literally where rows of seats

    are laid out as in a theatre or cinema this layout is good for information only or shut up

    and listen type events. Connection with all the audience is difficult and they cannot take

    notes or do any table work. These layouts remind me of either damp Sundays in the local

    parish church or of mass meetings of union members or public meetings.

    In smaller venues there are other options that are available again the choice may be

    dictated by the venues available space and equipment.

    Stage Area

    Herring Bone Seating Arrangement

  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 6

    Board Room Style one large rectangular table with people arranged around it. Make sure

    you are positioned at the front of the room so everyone can see and hear you.

    A popular variation is the Wedding Party similar to the Board Room, just watch the

    temptation to wander up the aisle between the tables you will lose control.

    Temperature from the presenters point of view, keep the room cold so that the audience

    dont nod off say around 18 Degrees. Will depend on the duration of the presentation and

    what activities are involved in my experience its easier to warm up than cool down a


    Screen with the screen in the middle of the stage area, you will have to be presenting

    from the side which side depends on where you feel comfortable. A variation is to put

    yourself in the middle of the stage and have the screen offset to the side, or to have dual

    screens one on each side of you. Being in the middle of the stage is a much better place

    for you to be so consider these options in your room layout.

    Board Room Seating Arrangement

    Screen or front of room


    Screen or front of room

    Presenter watch out

    Wedding Seating Arrangement

  • Results Rules OK Ltd 2011 7

    Lighting check out all the lights. Make sure that the tubes dont flicker especially if you

    are showing videos, or there are no humming noises from transformers in the ceiling. The

    room should be a little darker than the stage and if you are using spot lights remember they

    will tend to cook you when you are on stage have an electric fan off to the side to keep

    you cool. Also, watch for ceiling spots that may wash out your screen have the bulbs

    taken out if you are in any doubt.

    Audio where you can, use audio amplification it will save your voice. Make sure you do a

    sound check and dont use a hand held mike you are not a singer, you are presenter and

    you will need your hands free to communicate. If you use audio, always do a sound check

    and make sure that you have fresh batteries in the microphones at the start of EVERY

    session. Use lapel microphones with sponge filters to take out any background noise and

    ALWAYS remember that if you go to the restroom and leave a radio microphone on it will

    continue to transmit. Personal experience here

    The room should ideally have plenty of fabrics and soft surfaces to help with the acoustics

    if you have the choice go for a room with carpet over one without, if there are curtains,

    have them drawn if possible

    Drinks always have some still water or apple juice at room temperature available for you

    when you are on stage. Tables should have water and glasses on them, forget fruit cordials,

    still water is fine.

    Electrics make sure you have adaptor plugs for your laptop and projector if you are using

    your own remember that voltage differences in the USA for example wont operate UK