Do you stand and deliver? Or do you prefer to sit? I’m talking about how you deliver a presentation or training course. If I’m doing a 1:1 coaching session, I’ll usually sit, either at the trainer’s desk at the front of the training room, or next to the delegate. If I’m coaching at the delegate’s desk, then circumstances dictate that I’ll end up sitting next to them.

However, in a formal training course, why do I always find myself standing up? I suppose I feel that it gives me a position of authority, like a barrister in a courtroom (but then The Judge spends the day sitting down). Maybe it’s because I don’t want to feel like a school teacher, teaching a bunch of kids, or maybe correct posture and stance was drummed into me on the Train The Trainer courses that I have attended over the years.


Whatever the reason, I don’t just stand like a stuffed dummy. Even when I’m not pointing at the projector screen, I find myself gesticulating with my hands (I knew they were there for a reason).

In my current role, I’m an “in-house trainer” and in 2007 we began to offer a “global training service”. In practical terms this means that more and more training is being delivered via Webex to a worldwide audience. Due to circumstances beyond our control, VOIP is not available so delegates dial-in for the audio.

Over the past 12 months I’ve spent more time delivering virtual training than classroom training. Most of the time, I sit down when I deliver. I book myself a small meeting room (so as not to disturb my colleagues). The layout of the room is such that the PC is in front of me, the mouse is to the right and the hands-free telephone, which I have set to “speakerphone” is to my left. That’s pretty much the same layout that I have when I’m delivering an online presentation from home (for one of the tech groups that I run) or when I’m recording a podcast – although there I have a microphone in place of a telephone.

Even though I’m sitting down, I still find myself using the same body language as if I were delivering a live, classroom based course.

So today when I delivered an online course, I decided to experiment by standing up and walking around the room whilst training, moving my hands and gesticulating as I would if I had a live audience. It didn’t feel strange – in fact it felt normal – although If somebody had peered in through the glass panel in the door, they probably would have had me locked up.

So, how do you deliver your online training courses? Standing up or sitting down? Please let me know