I was reading an article today about moving around (randomly, rather than in a set pattern which can bore the audience just as much as remaining static) while you give a talk and it made me think about how mobile I am when I give a talk.
Most of us are comfortable using a podium or lectern. It provides a solid place to stand, and it makes many people feel very secure since you are behind a barrier. You also have a place for notes and a bottle of water. So in terms of comfort, the lectern is great.
But have you tried moving around and away from the lectern? Sometimes you can’t do this because the microphone is on the lectern and if you moved away the audience would not be able to hear you. But quite often they give you lapel microphones which (theoretically) frees you up and you can roam around.
I tried this when I did a Masterclass recently. I have done these before, and have always stood at a lectern with a few notes on index cards. But this time I stood down at audience level and tried to be more relaxed. I have to say it did not flow as well as usual and I was much more conscious of myself, my words, clothes and positioning than ever before. The net result was a less good performance (my opinion here).
I guess if you feel really comfortable moving around and making your presentation more chatty then try this but if you’re more at ease in a more formal setting i.e. lectern, then perhaps you should keep doing it that way.