Big events like trade shows, conferences, and seminars are intimidating at first for many different reasons. After all, hundreds, if not thousands, of people could be listening to what you have say, meaning your audience could come from different industries across the globe just to hear your insights.
However, the opportunities you could gain from a public speaking event far outweigh the risks involved. If you’re going to present and showcase your brand to a multitude of participants, you might need more than a small screen or a projection. You’ll be needing a big screen so that large audiences can see your visuals from across a huge venue.
As discussed in a previous post, crossing the projector’s beam is one of the biggest no-nos in presentations. It can block your audience’s view of your own deck, distracting them in the process. However, if you are using a large screen behind you instead, you won’t have to avoid projections to your front, freeing you up for more nonverbal communication.
So how do we maximize slide presentations with a large screen?
Presenting with Large Screens
Reading off projected slides is a normal experience for a smaller audience, but big events might push you towards huge screens because you have several more eyes on you. Sometimes the venue will be so large that people might not even see you since they are seated so far from where you’ll be standing. What should you do in cases like this? It might sound like you shouldn’t do anything different, but you need to utilize the space much more wisely this time around.
Here are three things to consider when presenting in front of a large crowd:
1. Having the Right Positioning
Speaking in a large venue with hundreds of people is no joke. That’s why you often have to mind where you stand to avoid obstructing anyone’s view. However, if you’re working with large screens—like LED screens—ignoring this rule can sometimes be forgivable because of the difference between a projected screen and an LED screen.
Since the light comes from the screen, rather than being projected onto the screen, you can walk across the screen with less distraction. You’ll simply block small parts of the screen, which is better than having facts and figures covering your entire body. With nothing being projected on you, you won’t look like a hiding chameleon, even at center stage, giving you more leeway to engage and interact with your audience.
2. Maximizing Your Equipment
If you won’t be playing videos onscreen, having even a simple visual aid is necessary for retaining attention. After all, audio-visual presentations improve your chances of reaching out to your potential clients. At their best, you can engage and persuade them with what you can offer.
Large venues where cameras are placed in different locations can even enable people to watch you from different angles. That might mean they would be looking at the screens rather than on you, especially if you look too tiny from their vantage point. Take advantage of the extra exposure by maximizing body movements to draw audiences’ attention to you. Getting the best out of your available tools equally brings the best out of how you communicate your message.
3. Handling Your Fear
Presenting to a huge crowd may be overwhelming, but doing it with a gigantic LED screen behind you presents extra challenges. For instance, the smallest errors that usually go unnoticed on a normal-sized screen could get blown up and more obvious for people to see on a large screen. These kinds of mistakes could include a typo or even an element in your presentation that was nudged a few pixels off from its intended position. Despite this possibility, don’t let the extra pressure scare you away from making a good impression.
What is the best way to overcome this extra anxiety? Push fear aside with preparation and use large screens to your advantage. Double check your slides before you present to reduce tension and to assure yourself that your deck is error-free. With enough confidence, you can freely impart your message while boosting your credibility and professionalism. A calm and measured performance tells people that you’re knowledgeable and prepared, and in case you do miss a tiny error in your deck, your confidence can help make up for it, putting people’s focus on you rather than on any unpolished bits of your presentation.
Go Big or Go Bigger
If you’ve found yourself about to present in a place with screens much larger than those that you’re used to, don’t be discouraged. Instead, think of it as a huge opportunity whenever you find yourself in a large venue. Make your pitch work with the proper positioning, effective use of equipment, and a poised performance. Here are a few reminders on how to maximize the use of large screens for your next pitch:
First, avoid disappointing your audience with a lack of preparedness. Try not to let your audience catch on if you are feeling overwhelmed by the vastness of the screen you’ve been equipped with. Even if you may feel small onstage, with a sea of eyes watching your every move, don’t forget to focus on your speech to ground yourself back to reality. A big screen is indeed overwhelming, but conquering your anxiety helps you present with credibility. That’s why you should always rehearse and double check your slides to control your nerves and feel comfortable with your visuals.
A large screen doesn’t just showcase a well-designed deck, but it also convinces a greater number of viewers with more ease and impact. In addition, participating in huge events involves time, effort, and motivation. Don’t waste that chance to attract more clients while maximizing the large screen.
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“Presenting to Large Groups and Conferences.” Skills You Need. n.d. www.skillsyouneed.com/present/presenting-to-large-groups.html