A few weeks ago, I was facilitating a few breakout/roundtable sessions at a conference with several hundred people. Thought I would check out the main session speaker – who was actually very good BUT she got stuck on one side of the room.
Unfortunately, the projection screen was situated in the middle of the room with the multimedia projector on a little table in the center. Rather than standing in the swath of light (thank you!), she stood on one side of the room and rarely ventured over to the other side. Poor folks on the neglected side of the room were very gracious, but you could tell they were just not as connected to the speaker nor to the message.
What to do? Put the screen on the right side of the room (from the speaker’s vantage point). Why downstage right and not the left? Western audiences naturally read from right to left, so you are making it easier for the audiences to look at the screen when something changes and then to look at you!
Place the screen at the same depth as you will be standing at the front and as close to your center position so the audience’s eyes won’t have to travel a great distance from you to the screen. And here’s the added benefit, should you have to point to something on the screen, you can use your right hand without turning your back to the audience!
Question: Please take the poll to the right and let’s see where you usually see the screen!