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All year round Presentation Panto

by Dan Bond on 25th February, 2013

In my years in the theatre there always came a time in the three shows a day pantomime season when you just thought it would never end, even in January when the worst was well ‘Behind you’.

At the start of this year I was reminded of these unhappy moments while watching presenters use the ‘Follow the bouncing ball on the sing-along song sheet (PowerPoint)’ approach to presenting. These were relatively informal networking meetings where the principal objective was to gain the interest of the audience in signing up to a networking activity. But because the presenter’s eyes were not on the audience and the audiences eyes were on the screen, not on the presenter, there was absolutely no connectivity.

The audience slavishly followed the words on the screen even when the presenters failed to get the right words in the right order, at which point the audience was ahead of the presenter. Even the animated reveal of each line of the agenda just increased the feeling of song sheet Presentation Panto.

How much better it would be if the presenter looked the audience in the eye while occasionally looking down in a momentary pause to check a card for the next thing to be said. Leave the song sheet to the Panto Dame and get the audience to look at you.

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