Maximise Your Stage Presence – Mastering Stage Positioning for Speech Excellence
Public speaking or presentations on stage go beyond the content; your delivery style as a speaker/communicator also contributes to the impression of confidence. This applies equally to our young communicators who are starting to explore the speaking stage. For them, the habit-building process can start early, especially in picking out body language elements that can help them stand out in their speeches or presentations.
One of the key areas for our young communicators to consider is stage positioning. As the term suggests, this involves using the stage (and position on stage) by the speaker to try and achieve a certain effect or engage the audience better. This tends to be one of the more challenging aspects of stage control for young communicators. In the same vein, this habit, when mastered, can help your child stand out while on stage.
To help with your child’s public speaking journey, we will share some tips and techniques on stage positioning that they can apply in their next presentation!
Map Out the Route
The stage is big and for a young communicator, having to navigate or fully utilise the stage can be daunting. With a big space, the temptation may be to stay within the centre of the stage and avoid large movements. Instead, we want our young communicators to feel confident and at ease with the large space provided. Being able to master the space on stage would allow them to project their confidence further.
One habit for these young communicators would be to map the space on stage. Instead of panicking and moving about without direction (e.g., pacing about, swaying), we recommend identifying 2-3 anchor points for the speaker to navigate between. For example, a school stage can be divided into three areas (i.e., left, right, centre) for the speaker to move between. This encourages the speaker to maximise the available space on stage!
Anchor with Strength
Once the space on stage is mapped out, the next challenge is to position themselves with strength at each location. We often find our young speakers facing the challenge of moving naturally between the anchor spots or missing out on other body language cues as they reach a new location—all these result in a speaking style that may come across as unnatural or rigid. Instead, a speaker should take each new spot with strength, especially in projecting confidence.
There are two aspects of this to consider for our young communicators. First, a speaker should move from one anchor position to another with purpose and confidence. They should continue speaking while maintaining eye contact as they shift their stage positioning. Second, once they arrive at the new stage position, they should return to a stable standing position – feet shoulder-width apart and weight balanced on both feet.
Position with Purpose
The bigger question when it comes to stage positioning is on purpose – when should a speaker move around on stage? The answer to this depends on the communication context. For example, an energetic, motivational speech may involve more stage position changes than a centred, informative speech (with a PowerPoint or visual aid deck). The general speech purpose can help young communicators decide if stage positioning is necessary.
Where applicable, however, stage positions can be used to achieve a specific purpose or tie into a particular theme. For example, a storytelling speech can be improved in delivery by arranging the stage positions based on the flow of the story (e.g., chronology). Alternatively, an informative structure with three specific main points can benefit from 3 stage positions identified for the speaker to transition between.
Utilise the Stage!
Stage positioning is one of the key elements that can help young communicators project confidence on stage. However, the dynamic nature of such a habit may discourage a new speaker from experimenting with stage movements. We hope the three tips above can help your child incorporate the valuable habit of stage positioning in their speeches!
*** Some additional tips on public speaking/ presentation/ speech delivery ***
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