We’re all familiar with the droning voice of a speaker who rarely varies pitch, tone, or pace and who inflicts on us the boring presentation.
In like fashion, you can be visually monotonous.
Visual monotony – either of repetitive constant movement or of no movement whatsoever.
We know well the “rocker” and the “swayer.”
We know Mr. “busy-hands” and the “Foxtrotter,” who quicksteps in a tight little dance. Perhaps you have seen the occasional great Stoneface, but he is a rarity today.
The Right Movement
Movement can enhance or cripple your presentation.
And the right kind of movement can solve the boring presentation quite handily.
But don’t begin agitated hopping about the stage willy-nilly. Recognize that you should incorporate movement into your presentation for quite specific reasons. Your movements should contribute to your presentation by reinforcing your message.
At the risk over over-alliterating, mesh your movements with your message.
Remember that every single thing you do onstage derives its power by its contrast with every other thing you do. If you move all the time, like a pacing jungle cat, it becomes the equivalent of white noise. Your movements then contribute no meaning whatever to your presentation.
In fact, your movements become a distraction. They leech energy and attention from your message. It’s a form of visual monotony.
The Kiss of Sleep – Your Boring Presentation
Likewise, if you remain stationary 100 percent of the time, the result is again visual monotony. You lull your audience into inattention, especially if you combine verbal and visual monotony in a single presentation – The Kiss of Sleep . . . for your audience.
You inflict . . . the boring presentation.
Those in theater know this principle well.
In his very fine Tips for Actors, Jon Jory intones that: “Your best tool to avoid this dangerous state is variety. Three lines of loud need soft. Three lines of quick need slow. A big dose of movement needs still. Or change your tactics.”
So, think of movement as one more tool in your repertoire to evoke feeling from your audience. With it, you can convey a powerful and persuasive message.
The secret is not Movement alone . . . the secret is keen, decisive, proper, and exquisitely timed Movement.
For more on how movement can help to remedy a boring presentation, consult The Complete Guide to Business School Presenting.