When we give a speech or presentation, we usually don’t have any control over the room where we speak. We might be able to move chairs and tables or adjust the lighting, but in general, we have to deal with the room as we find it.
Last week, I went for a walk around the village of Collex in Switzerland where I live. When you walk to from Collex to the neighbouring village of Bossy, the elevation rises noticeably. Because most of the surrounding land is agricultural, you have a magnificent view to the south of the French Alps and the Mont Blanc.
If the sun is shining.
Which it wasn’t.
No, when I went for my walk, it was cloudy and a storm front was moving in. A wind was starting to blow and the mountains were obscured in cloud. It was too bad, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
It made me think of times when I spoke in room where the conditions were suboptimal or worse. I couldn’t change rooms, so there was no point in complaining; I just had to deal with the situation.
As I reflected, I realized that there were parallels between speaking in a bad room and going for a walk on a day when the weather is overcast. So I shot the short video below. In it, I offer three tips to help you deal with the room where you speak.
There will be times when you speak in amazing rooms and there will be times when you speak in awful rooms. Either way, the audience has to deal with the same room as you.
You must ensure that the room is set up in the best way possible. Then, forget about it and give the audience something that is worth their time.
At the end of the video, you will see some information about an event at which I will be speaking in Berlin in September 2019 called Spectacular Speaking. I will be writing a post about it in the near future. In the meantime, you can learn more here.