Presenting with LED background

One of the things that is “in” today is the use of LED screen as a stage background. While that’s technologically marvelous, it’s an overlooked serious problem for professional speakers. Here’s why.

Having an LED background seems cool. But someone takes a photo of you, guess what happens? Reason: You’re standing against the light. Impact: You become a silhouette on stage. And it’s a problem right there!

Whatever is captured on the photo reflects how your audience see you as you present. It’s not cool to have prepared your suit or dress only to be a silhouette on stage, right? And if people would appreciate you as a speaker is another issue. They want to see you facial expression, for sure.

The solution is simple. Don’t use light background in your Powerpoint deck. Use solid, dark background instead. Also, please refrain from adding other designs, pictures, texts, graphs, or items that are not part of your slide’s story. Each slide you put up has a story to tell, a message to convey, and an impact to leave. How mindful you are in these little details matters.

Lastly, ask the organizer in advance if they’re using LED screen as a background. If yes, advise them to put a spotlight on standby so it can follow you wherever you stand on stage. In this case, people can see you. But, be prepared not to see your audience because of that.

And don’t forget: Many LED screens require HDMI connector instead of the old VGA connector, which mostly works on overhead projectors.

A presenter with an LED Screen background, with white space of presentation deck.
This is how a presenter looks like when there is no spotlight and if the presentation has white background.
How to Solve the LED Background Problem for Speaking Professionals.
This is how panelists look like if put “against the light.”

This article is written for PAPS by Lloyd Luna.

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