There is a dirty word in the theatre; it is “upstaged.” If you do it, or it is done to you, all hell breaks loose backstage. However, in two recent episodes of AGT (America’s Got Talent) we were astounded by the prevalence of upstaging. For the contestants, the lighting/special effects designers threw a legion of cheesy effects at the audience, completely obscuring the talent.
The Northwell Health Nurse Choir was dressed in blue scrubs. Their backdrop was a huge wall of green and yellow foliage with flowing blue waterfalls. It was difficult to focus on their faces… Aerialist Aidan Bryant was so upstaged by pyrotechnics that only his spinning made him stand out… And, the World Taekwondo Demo team performed intricately choreographed moves, but the stage lighting shone directly into the eyes of the audience.
When it’s time to deliver your presentation, decide where you want the audience to focus—on you or the effects. PowerPoint is one of the worst offenders. Especially in a virtual setting, if you shrink yourself and give the focus to PowerPoint, you have turned over the lead.
A narrated PowerPoint never convinces anyone to buy or partner with you. Can you recall what Beyonce’s backup singer/dancers look like? Exactly. Step out front, tone down the effects and Own the Room
. (shameless plug for our book)