The Art of Presenting Whilst Sitting Down
It’s natural to think that giving a presentation is usually performed standing up in front of a room full of people. This is not always the case. Many presentations are given sitting down around a table. If you are chairing a meeting or have been nominated to address a proposal, you are effectively giving a presentation.
It is nearly always better to stand to deliver a presentation, but there are circumstances where sitting down is more appropriate. However, presenting whilst seated can be more difficult to engage your audience as you lose the status of an elevated position which carries an air of authority and it is more difficult to use your body language to communicate and generate enthusiasm.
Presenting sitting down
Try this posture to help you develop the right frame of mind for presenting when sitting down. With your feet flat to the floor, sit up straight and push your derrière to the back of the chair. Sit comfortably put do not cross your arms and legs. Lean forward slightly. You’ll notice that in this position your peripheral vision is wider, and that you are more alert, present, and more capable of responding.
The other vital aspect to address when presenting around a table is to look into the eyes of everybody present. Eye contact helps you to connect , involve and engage with them. A common mistake is mostly to look at the person seated opposite, or at the person you think is the most senior. Avoid both these traps and look at everyone present in equal measure.
It is rare that you will know the true dynamics in the room. The most senior person could delegate future liaison with you and your project to someone else around that table.
And It is normal and natural for the senior person to ask her team for their thoughts and impressions, once you have left the room. If you have not looked at EVERYBODY – you have failed to connect and engage – and the reaction will probably not go in your favour regardless of how good your content is.
So sit up comfortably and straight, lean forward slightly , and look at absolutely everyone.