Twice in the last three months I’ve sat through presentations where the speaker felt the need to wander throughout a large room (200+ folks at dinner tables) while giving a talk.
That’s an awful, awful habit as far as I’m concerned. It’s disconcerting to be reading something from the slides, then spend 30 seconds trying to find the speaker in the large room because they think it’s cool to either a) go walkabout or b) play some variation of “Where’s Waldo?”. In both cases the speakers were otherwise giving a fairly good presentation (too many bullet slides, but that’s beside the point) and I started to tune out because I lost connection with them.
Don’t get me wrong. Giving your presentation while stapled to your podium or table is also an awful habit, but you shouldn’t be meandering so far that your audience can’t quickly move from watching you to looking at your presentation.
There’s a nice balance involved in moving around while talking. Casual wandering near your screen or stage is good. Hanging out in the back corner of a large room? Not so much.