Here’s a true and funny post from Presentation Zen about why speakers shouldn’t use podiums.
I’ve long felt the same way, both as a musician and as a teacher. The singer/guitarist in my most recent band once wanted to do an acoustic set at a show, under headphones. Even just being under headphones disconnected us from the audience in a fundamental way. Likewise, being behind a podium, desk, or table (our classrooms frequently have behind all three!) cuts me off the students in way that neither they nor I really benefit from. Despite the amount of technology in teaching these days, teaching and learning are still fundamentally human activities and need real human contact to work properly.
I’ll not take the suggestion to "present naked" too literally though, for everybody’s sake.
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