For performers, choreography combines proper body movements, positioning, and timing to elevate their act. Dancers rehearse their performance by familiarizing themselves with corresponding dance steps. Visiting the venue helps them experience the actual feeling for the live show.
Stage players also do this by matching their lines with appropriate body movements and gestures to engage the audience. They rehearse in the venue to arrange the setup, make minor adjustments, and be comfortable with the blocking and placement. Similarly, perfecting your movements can help you improve your pitch delivery, boosting your convincing ability.
Choreograph Your Pitch
Since choreography relates to physical space between the speaker and the audience, this is where the four spatial zones (intimate, personal, social, and public) take place.
- Intimate space covers a foot and a half to zero, and is usually reserved for significant others.
- Personal space ranges from four feet to a foot and a half – the right amount for close friends.
- Social space spans twelve feet to four feet. This is sufficient for large gatherings and social functions.
- Public space goes beyond twelve feet. As the name suggests, is best for public speaking.
As a presenter, you don’t have to stay within the public space all the time. Audience interest increases the closer you move to them.
Activate Your Audience’s Mirror Neurons
Interacting with a large audience is possible thanks to mirror neurons. As author Vicki Kunkel defines in her book, Instant Appeal, a mirror neuron allows people to experience the same feeling when observing others, mirroring their behavior as if they’re in the same situation.
Communications expert Nick Morgan suggests this technique when you’re in a crowd of 500 people have no room or time to engage each of them. In this case, you can connect freely with your audience by moving towards chosen audience members.
Kunkel cites Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well-known speaker, who knows this technique by heart. When telling a story, he’s able to make his audiences feel that they’re actually on the same occasion. He also uses typical stage areas when making and emphasizing a point. For example, when he describes an event or a situation, he stays in one location. He transfers to another position when he tackles another issue or topic.
This makes the performance more chronological and understandable, where audiences can easily follow. Let’s take a look at some room setups which you can best maximize to your advantage:
1. U-Shape Setup
This setting lets you engage your audience at the center, then walk towards them at some part of your speech.
Be careful not to show your back to some audience members. Eye contact shouldn’t be discarded since it contributes to your connection with the audience.
2. Classroom Setup
This style depends on the number of aisles in a classroom. If it has only one, you can walk through to move closer to some of your listeners in the middle. In this case, you interact more with the people sitting in front.
If there’s no aisle, stay in front and proceed with your pitch. Compensate with your body language to emphasize your points, and you’ll still connect with them.
3. Auditorium Setup
If you’ll be giving your speech in an auditorium, it’s advisable to practice in the actual venue more than once. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the area, and think of best strategies to engage the audience. A venue this large gives you more chances to maximize the stage.
Let your audience know your desire to connect with them by supporting your pitch with the right body language.
Choreographing your presentation helps you maximize space and grab attention. Meanwhile, activating your audience’s mirror neurons through body language provides an emphatic and emotional connection.
Lastly, familiarizing yourself with the different room styles engages audiences more effectively for impactful professional presentations. Plan your pitch like a stage performance to get the best out of any public speaking opportunity.
To help you with your presentation needs, SlideGenius experts can offer you a free quote!
Morgan, Nick. “How to Choreograph Your Presentation.” Forbes. April 11, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2015. www.forbes.com
Kunkel, Vicki. Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors That Create Blockbuster Success. New York: AMACOM, 2008.
Featured Image: “Poly Prep – Afternoon of Student Choreography” by Steven Pisano on flickr.com.