Times speakers should be stubborn

If you walk into a room where you’re giving a presentation and don’t like the setup, say so.

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Hundreds of audio/visual technicians have helped me set up our media and presentation training sessions over the past decade. These professionals have bailed me out of more than a few jams, and I value their knowledge and expertise.

That said, I’ve consistently found that many A/V techs have a different view of what constitutes an “ideal” setup than I do. Oftentimes, they’ll set up the room in a manner that takes full advantage of the technology, but that isn’t conducive to student learning and public speaking.

As an example, a tech recently set up a room to look like the image below, but imagine one more empty table placed directly between the table with chairs and the screen, separating the speaker from the trainees by an extra few feet. ​ I was dismayed when I found that set up in the room (despite making a specific A/V request in advance), because I knew it wouldn’t work well for a full day of training.

Plus, I prefer speaking from the short end of the table, where I can take in the full room at a glance, instead of from the middle of the long side of the table, which forces me to constantly rotate back and forth.

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