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Ask a Speaker: How should I move around on stage when doing public speaking?

May 16, 2013

speaker panel

The “ask a speaker series” consists of a series of posts, each one designed to answer a common problem people face when speaking in public. We ask our top speaking experts, with almost a century of public speaking experience between them, how it’s done.

We’ve all seen ditherers on stage who distract their audiences and appear unnecessarily nervous. The challenge for any speaker is to use the stage with purpose. This week we asked our panel for their top tips on stagecraft.

George Jerjian (Marketing Professional, Past President 2001-2):

Use the stage with purpose. Don’t walk around like comedian Michael McIntyre; it works in comedy but it’s a distraction for audience listening to public speakers. Move to the left to make one point and then move to the right to make another point and if you have a third point to make, do it from the centre.

Vaughan Evans (Strategy Consultant, Member since 1990):


David West (Retired Benefits Consultant, Toastmaster for over ten years):

There is nothing wrong with standing still but movement can help keep attention or reinforce a point. You can move from one side of the stage to the other as you reach different s in your speech. Avoid turning back on the audience.

Jakub Pawlowski (National Speech Competition Runner Up, London Division Governor of Toastmasters International):

Move only on purpose. Random movements only distract the audience. Educate yourself on such concepts like ‘timeline’ or ‘hologram’ and use them effectively to make your message even more memorable. Be relaxed and comfortable.


Have you got a question to ask our panel. Feel free to post any questions in the comments below, or contact us at with your public speaking related questions.

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