Breaking Free of the “Pacing Predicament”: 4 Easy Ways to Elevate Your Presentation

Breaking Free of the “Pacing Predicament”: 4 Easy Ways to Elevate Your Presentation

Every time I go to a conference or convention where there are “professional speakers” presenting, I find myself watching their presentation skills. I can’t help it. I have my notebook there and am taking notes on things that they are doing as presenters that I feel could be done better. And the one consistent thing comes up over and over and over and over again is pacing.

I’m not talking about the speed of your speech or the timing of how you present your points. I’m literally talking about pacing back and forth across the stage.

If I were to place a hidden camera or position one behind the speaker on stage to record the audience, then speed up the footage of their reactions while the speaker is talking, it would resemble watching a tennis match.

Pacing is mindlessly wandering across the stage like a lost soul. When you are presenting, you need to be intentional with everything you do- from where you stand and when you move to the pauses you take to allow what you say to sink in with your audience. It’s about intentionality, about being grounded in your movements. When you’re on stage, every step should have purpose, every pause should resonate with your audience.

Think about it: when you’re delivering a crucial point, where do you want to be? Dead center, front and center, where all eyes are on you. It’s like finding your sweet spot on the stage, where your words carry weight and your presence is palpable.

So, how do we remedy this pacing predicament? Here are 4 ideas:

1. Practice Relaxation Techniques: Oftentimes Speakers who pace are doing it unconsciously because they are nervous. So before taking the stage, engage in relaxation techniques to calm your nerves. Deep breathing exercises, visualization, or progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calmness. By centering yourself mentally and physically before your speech, you’ll be better equipped to maintain composure on stage and minimize the urge to pace.

2. Be Intentional and Use Strategic Movement: Plan your movements on stage beforehand. Identify key points, where you want to move, and where you want to stand still. Each movement should serve a purpose in enhancing your message. Instead of aimlessly pacing, strategically move to different parts of the stage to engage different sections of the audience. Move with purpose and pause deliberately to emphasize important points.

3. Incorporate Body Language and Gestures: Utilize expressive body language and hand gestures to enhance your speech. Gestures can emphasize key points, convey emotions, and keep the audience engaged. Practice using gestures that feel natural and authentic to you.

4. Practice Stillness: Incorporate moments of stillness into your presentation. When delivering crucial points or allowing the audience to absorb information, stand firm and hold your position. This conveys confidence and allows your message to resonate more effectively.

By following these tips, you can avoid pacing back and forth on stage and instead deliver a more polished and impactful presentation.

Remember, the stage is your playground, but it’s also your battlefield. Stand your ground, claim your space, and let your words do the talking.

Dino Watt

PS: Head on over to my Facebook group called “Command the Room”. It’s a group dedicated to helping like minded speakers improve their craft.

PPS: I save audiences from boring speeches by helping speakers make a lasting impact. 🤝