I’ve been asked this question so many times and while the true answer is, it depends, often the real reason someone is asking is that they do not want to stand and are hoping for an easy reason to sit!
Why don’t some speakers want to stand? Here are a few thoughts ( you may have other reasons to add)
- I don’t want to stand out
- I don’t want to set myself up as better/more important/more knowledgeable than the others
- I don’t want to draw attention to myself
- I feel exposed and this makes me feel uncomfortable
- Other people don’t stand up and I feel awkward doing something other people are not
And so on…
Here’s why it is good to stand:
- You stand out so people pay attention.
- You give yourself and your content gravitas so people pay you attention
- You are exposed so that people can focus on you and your message – they pay you attention
- Your presentation and message don’t get absorbed into the same old same old. In other words, people pay attention
There’s a pattern here I am sure you can see…you need people to pay attention so they can hear and respond to what you are saying. Blending in and being the same as others is not a helpful strategy if you need to have an impact and if you want to influence others.
There are some other really important reasons about delivery too:
- Your voice will sound better
- You can get better eye contact when you stand
- You can use whole body movements to add dynamism to your delivery
- You have more control over your audience
Of course, there may be good reasons not to stand – when it’s a one on one(!) for example, but make sure your decision to sit isn’t based on comfort or lack of confidence. Standing up and speaking out give you power and influence and impact