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Shelley Gable

Interesting ideas. I wonder how this translates for conference calls for those on virtual teams.

Matt Jury

Good post. It's always good to remember that team members may have excellent ideas they've yet to unveil. Taking over the floor may disrupt the team atmosphere. When you do stand do so infrequently, be spot-on, and sit down eye-to-eye for feedback. Good thoughts.

Dan Erwin

Thanks Steve, The nonverbal issues of presentation, including sitting and standing are often missed by presenters, but as you say, they have a powerful impact.


Harris Silverman - Business Coach

These are important points. Cues of this kind can have a disproportionate impact. They are not often discussed in presentation workshops and discussions.

Harris Silverman

Helen Tucker

Thanks, Steve. I think being able not to speak a lot and listening to others is a kind of leadership.
It means that you can control yourself and sitation, have impact. But you are also smart and can be relaxed.


It really takes a big person to relinquish his/her voice for a few minutes and get everybody's feedback. A lot of bosses try to be supermen (superwomen) and take over the conversation without regard for the ideas of others. You never know who has the better idea, the plan that saves the most time and money, nor the solution to the entire problem...and trust me, it isn't always the boss.

If you are on the other side and given the chance to speak, keep it clean, be respectful and keep it simple!

Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments or violent reactions)

Tommy Liano

I agree that you should know not only what to do but also when. And I noticed a lot of successful people (leaders) are always good listeners. I think it's very important!!!

Chris Witt


My preference is to stand when I'm making any sort of presentation. But I do find it difficult / awkward when I'm speaking to a really small group. When I attend a meeting where I may be expected to speak, I try to position myself in a place that gives me a bit of a power boost so that whether I'm standing or seated I still capture people's attention.

Simon Oates @Leadership Expert

Certainly a good thought. I guess for many, not escalating your idea into a mini-presentation could be seen as 'selling yourself short', and if someone genuinely believes that they've had a brilliant idea, they're not likely to want to risk seeing it disappear as others give it less than their full attention.

Josh F

I think the author's ideas make a whole lot of sense. I wouldn't have thought of something as simple as sitting or standing as having a large impact on the group's mentality, etc. However, framing it in this context has made me certain to be self-aware in future presentations.


Great thoughts. I am currently enrolled in a Managerial Communications course and we spend a considerable amount of time discussing presentation techniques. It really is amazing how much there is to consider when speaking to a group. Choosing between sitting or standing is related to choosing whether or not you want to speak "to" or "with" the group. Sometime it is hard to let the boss persona go. I like the suggestion of a mini presentation-- standing first to get your point across and then taking a seat to foster discussion.


The author brings up some interesting points. I have never thought of one's position -- sitting or standing -- as being used in directing attention. I believe that such a decision depends on not only the importance of the idea presented, but also the setting in which the idea is conveyed. If one were at a business meeting with colleagues, I believe it would be ideal for him or her to stand up in order to stress importance. However if one were in a meeting and he or she is already the designated leader of the group, then the leader should remain seated in order to demonstrate humility and avoid conveying a condescending attitude towards the employees. Just a thought.

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