One of the most important things as a speaker has to do to make an impact with their audience - is to control the environment they are in.

Believe it or not, some speakers get the “gig” (aka the engagement) show up at the correct time and realize the seating arrangements or the lighting is off.

Trust me: If your lighting or environment is not at optimal levels, your performance will suffer and you could get a poor evaluation.

Look at this way: You could have given a presentation at another venue, blown the room away with your wit, charm and content rich information. But do the exact speech at another venue, where your audience loses interest in your message due to lighting you can can bomb unmercifully!

And can you blame the audience? Look at it this way: If you are watching a speaker and they're in the shadows… don’t you lose focus on them? Of course, you do. Why should an audience strain themselves to see you?

Believe it or not, some speakers (not you of course), won’t even take that into consideration. Make no mistake: GOOD lighting boosts a speaker’s performance.

When I do a stand-up comedy show. I want a night-club feel. By that I mean, I know I will get BIGGER laughs if the audience is dark and I am heavily lit. (Anonymity
makes people laugh harder)

It’s just the nature of the beast. On the flip side, in a corporate environment a speaker wants his audience lit, so he can see them, and interact with them. PLUS, the audience can’t take notes on your words of wisdom.

If you are at a lectern be careful if the wall of curtain behind you is heavily lit. Why? Because your lovely face will be in a shadow. Every one should see your pearly whites and that way – they will hang on every word you say!

Steven Pollack, a Special Events coordinator (as opposed to an Average Events coordinator) gives these tips.

1)Adjust the room lighting. Rooms have incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Go with incandescent. Fluorescent can be quite overwhelming. The harsh light can NOT be adjusted. They are usually on full blast. Also, some fluorescent have a BUZZING to them which can be picked up on audio if you are recording.

2) Incandescent is softer and can be adjusted. (This is the lighting you have in your living room.)

3)Steve recommends that the intensity of the brightness level of the general room lighting be set no more than 60 percent. Depending on the banquet room your lighting should also be set no more than 60 percent (Use 50 percent on average.) For seminars and workshops use 70 percent.

One last thing: While up on the stage or on a platform, a whitewash of floodlights can over power your audience… and you as well.

Choose your lighting carefully – make an effort to control your environment so you can place yourself in the “best light” (I meant that literally and figuratively) to stand out and give your audience a memorable performance. Yes, as speakers you want to change lives --- but remember: You are ALWAYS giving a performance!

Author's Bio: 

Peter “The Reinvention Guy” Fogel is National Speakers Association Speaker, seminar leader and creator of Peter Fogel’s Guide to Effective Public Speaking. For his FREE 7 Days to effective public speaking E-course and to view his products, go to ($125 Value)

He is also the author of the book, "If Not Now... Then When? Stories and Strategies of People Over 40 Who Have Successfully Reinvented Themselves"

For his book, articles, and his FREE 4-1 Total Success Reinvention Package ($100 Value) go to