Believe it or not, but there's actually quite a lot of skill involved in having nothing to do on stage whilst being in full view of the audience – and the action happening elsewhere.
Say you are one of 2 speakers giving a presentation, what on earth are you to do with yourself whilst the other person is giving his/her spiel, and (horror) you're left standing there for an eternity. Here's a couple of brilliant tips, which will save you if you are ever in this dire predicament…
1: Move at a glacial pace.
This will allow you to get away with almost anything. You can even turn around and walk off and no-one will even notice. But I mean truly g..l…a…c….i…a….l. Verrrrry slowly. Do this excercise:
Sit in a chair and place your hands on your lap. Take 4 full seconds to lift your hand up to your chin. That's how slow you have to move.
Just remember that any sudden movements attract attention. So no tapping feet, or moving at 'normal' speed – not unless you want poeple to watch you do it.
Hot tip: If you need to walk through an auditorium, amongst an audience who are concentrating on the stage – then walk slowwwly, or you'll get annoyed people turning to look at you. Watch a professional camerman – a true professional may even take his shoes off, so as to not make any sound, just watch him drift slowly along the aisle like a ghost. Each step taking at least 2 seconds.
2: Listen attentively to the talker.
I don't know why it works, but the audience will invariably look where you are looking. Listen to what you are listening to. So no gazing around all over the place, or talking to someone off-stage – you'll distract the audience and your fellow presenter won't thankyou.
My next post will be on how to communicate with a live speaker, right in the middle of his live presentation. I've seen many a fine presenter get completely derailed, after someone's just whispered to them to hurry up and finish, as the next act is waiting to come on… Pray that never happens to you my friend.