Use the stage

8 11 2017

See that stage in your venue? It’s there for presentations like mine. It’s there because on a flat floor anyone seated more than 2 or maybe 3 rows back can’t see a thing.

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Just because you’ve a tiny projector screen over the door or because “there’s stuff stored up on the stage” don’t sacrifice the comfort of 4/5ths of your audience by not using the stage. It really is worth taking the time to find another screen to put on the stage and/or having a tidy up.

On a flat floor the experience of those in the first couple of rows will be so different to those sat behind them it’s like they are watching a different show. If you use the stage though everyone gets to see everything that is going on.

UPDATE Paul McCrory quite rightly emailed me to say with numbers up to 120ish this flat layout can work well. I agree with him. As long as there are less than 4 rows of seats it can work. This post refers to an audience of 240+ with 8+ rows of seats.

Today I was working on a flat floor with 7 or 8 rows of seats. You can see the children straining to see the volunteer at the front and that’s with the volunteer standing on a chair.

If I hadn’t raised the child up the majority of the audience wouldn’t have seen a thing. This isn’t just unfair to those at the back it leads to behaviour management issues as well. I wouldn’t sit quietly either if I couldn’t see what was happening but my classmates at the front could see it all.

Here you can see a teacher in the same venue just visible to the audience again having to stand on a chair.

Compare the view these children had in this venue with the flat floor to these children yesterday in a venue with a stage.

Even 11 rows back (I took the photo from row 12) every member of the audience can see all of the teacher volunteer.

As Paul very correctly pointed out you loose a connection when you use a stage, you put a “4th wall” between you and the audience, however with audiences requiring more than 4 rows of seating the benefits of everyone being able to see outweigh the negatives of distancing yourself. You can always come down off the stage to reconnect if doing so is suitable.

UPDATE 2

Today I was working in a lecture theatre and I had to make a stage.

Lecturers normally just talk (often turned to face their slides…) and so these sorts of venues only make the top third of an adult visible to the audience. Why would you need to see more of the lecturer if they’re just talking?

Look at the stick figures in the picture below to 1) see how tall I would have been when I was speaking and 2) how tall my volunteer would have been.

So people could see I found a table for my volunteer to stand on. Without it he would have been basically invisible to the audience, they certainly wouldn’t have seen those two bottles hitting the table at the same time.

ADVERTS MIGHT FOLLOW THIS POST. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THESE.


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