At Medium on September 26, 2018 there was an article by Andy Nulman with the confusing title of Don’t Fear the Sphere and a clearer subtitle of How to speak in the round without going around in circles. A typical ‘in the round’ layout is shown above.
I found three other articles about speaking in the round. On October 16, 2015 Victoria Tomlinson of Northern Lights PR described her 9 tips for presentations ‘in the round.’ On February 18, 2016 at LinkedIn Pulse Adrian Kirk discussed Speaking in the Round – how to master the trickiest of public speaking platforms. Kristin Arnold at Powerful Panels also had three articles on Theater-in-the-Round: Speaking and Presenting Effectively. Think carefully about the following ten points before you attempt this difficult layout:
1] What are the advantages? First, there is a shorter distance between speaker and audience than for a typical room layout, with all the audience on one side. Second, that closeness make the presentation more conversational.
2] What are the biggest disadvantages? Half the audience can’t see your face or frontal hand gestures.
3] Should I try to spin around? No. Unless you are either a gymnast or a skater, you just will get dizzy and fall down, and look foolish.
4] Should I plan to walk around the stage? Yes, Adrian Kirk has discussed three possible patterns (shown above).
5] Does this round stage make my butt look big? It sure does. Get over it!
6] Should I wear a basic black dress or a charcoal suit? Heck no! Don’t dress like a ninja - you just will blend into a dark background.
7] Will I have a lectern to put notes on? Probably not, but you may have a small round table at the center of the stage.
8] Will I have prompting or confidence monitors? Maybe - they probably will be at the edges of the stage, as shown above.
9] Will there be screens for viewing video or PowerPoint? Maybe, either in a square cluster above the stage or up on the four side walls, as is shown above.
10] Will the stage revolve slowly, like the restaurants at the Space Needle or Tower of the Americas? Perhaps. Be sure to ask beforehand.