Know the room - own the room
When you own the room you will be a more powerful presenter. While strolling in your neighborhood you will feel more comfortable and confident then in a strange town. A sports team usually feels stronger when playing at home.
As a presenter, how can you own the room?
"Owning the room" is a feeling that you can generate within yourself by knowing the room.
Know the room
Get into the room before your presentation - preferably when no one else is there. That allows you to prepare as follows:
You will feel better if you've been in the room before your presentation. It removes the "strangeness" of the room. It's like looking at a map before you drive to a new destination.
You can see the room and start visualizing how you will present and how your audience will look. Visualizing yourself presenting in the room is an effective way to prepare for your presentation.
You can check the setup of the room. Become familiar with the layout of the seating, tables, doors, curtains and other characteristics of the room. Walk around the room and sit in different seats so you understand better how the audience might or might not see you and your visuals. Look for blind spots.
If the seating is not the way you prefer and it can be changed then arrange for it to be changed to the way you want. Sometimes this might mean making those changes yourself. (I've done this the night before an important presentation.)
Play with the switches. Test all the lights, AV and climate control switches. Tape the ones that should not be changed. Discover the ones that give you the settings you want so you can set it quickly or explain to an assistant how to do it.
Check all the doors to learn which ones are noisy - so you can tape the latches. Which are the outer halls that need a "Do Not Enter" sign taped on the outside? Which lead to the washrooms so you can direct people? When you got to go - nothing is more important. Which are the emergency exits in case they are needed?
Rehearse walking on and off the stage so you don't trip. Stand on the stage and deliver parts of your presentation. Move about the stage to feel comfortable and find the cracks or creaky boards that you need to avoid. Check the position of the speakers to avoid feedback.
One more tip: Change or move something to make the room yours. It might not be much but any small change can help you feel better when you take the stage.
Know the room and you will own the room.
PS: Tell me how this tip helps you.
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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.