How To Command A Room

“Space is in fact, a living event. Space is potential”

~ Bruce A. Bergner, Set Designer

Jackie is a lead engineer who also happens to be 5’2” and petite. I watch as she gives a presentation to her colleagues. Her goal: negotiate a procedural change between departments. She is doing a great job: engages her audience and listens to their ideas and input – a brilliant negotiation strategy.


But before she started to speak, she lost credibility.

How we position ourselves in our environment either adds to our credibility or subtracts from it. Jackie is tucked in the corner, blocked by a chair, and is standing right next to the power point screen – which is off. Her ability to master her space is constricted and limited.

Why this matters.

How you relate to the the space around you is a key element to command a room and present with authority. Actors and dancers are trained to know space is not static.

TALK TIP: Spatial Considerations

If you are presenting from the front of a room:

  • Find center or center point from the audience’s perspective. Symmetry is stability.

If you are presenting from a board room or meeting table:

  • Stand, slide your chair back and step slightly back from the table so you are seen and can move freely.

If you are presenting within a large group of people:

  • Position yourself where the majority of people can see and hear you.  You might want to ask a couple of people to shift out of your site line.

Bring your presentation’s potential to it’s fullest.

Stand. Command. Lead and Speak!