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Walking On Stage


Techniques Public speaking > Speaking Tips > Walking On Stage

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



When you walk on stage to deliver your speech or presentation, do so with quiet confidence.

Do not shuffle timidly or march aggressively. Just walk at a normal pace, as if this is something you do every day.

Look where you are going. You can glance and wave at the audience with a friendly smile but do avoid appearing nervous or arrogant.

If there is a host, look towards them and greet them as a friend, shaking hands and smiling.

When you reach your end point and after greeting the host, you can turn towards the audience to greet them. This may be done with a smile, nod and, if they are paying attention, a few words.


In doing a presentation at a conference, I walk on stage looking at the host who I greet as a friend (even though I only met them an hour ago), shaking their hand and smiling a few words. As the host introduces me, I stand steadily, without shuffling, hands at my side and looking out and around at the audience with a quiet smile. When the introduction is over, I step forwards to the lectern, greet the audience and start my presentation.


When you walk on stage, the audience may not know who you are or may recognize you immediately depending on who you are. A recognized person may begin their greeting early with a wave. In most circumstances, when they do not recognize you, a wave would be missed by many and could confuse others.

Displaying nervousness says you are not confidence and not ready to speak, which may trigger a reaction where people in the audience decide they are likewise not ready to listen. Likewise, apparent arrogance (which can actually just be over-compensating) may cause an unwanted response.

By showing you are comfortable on stage you also make the audience comfortable with themselves and also with you.

Greeting your host is one way of showing your comfort and also may well be appreciated by the host who themselves may not be that accustomed to being on stage.

See also

Greeting body language


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