Tips for Speaking at Virtual Events
By Courtney Moore, IFA
So you’re speaking at a virtual event. First of all, congratulations! Second of all, are you prepared?! Not to make you nervous, but a lot goes into getting ready for presenting to an audience via your computer.
Here are some tips for you to make the most out of your experience and ensure your presentation gets rave reviews. Who knows, you might even become internet famous from it! (Why not aim high?)
Keep Your Audience Engaged
You’re competing with many distractions during your time to speak — your audience will be tempted to look at their phone, check their email, etc. Don’t let them! By keeping your presentation lively, upbeat, and interesting, your audience won’t want to look away. Try adding polls if that option is available to not only keep the audience engaged but to offer real-time advice.
TIP: Look into the camera while you speak to make “virtual eye contact.”
Location. Location. Location.
Good lighting is the key to having a professional looking presentation. By facing a window, you’ll have beautiful natural light reflecting off of you. Also, this lighting makes you look FABULOUS. Make sure the background of your video is not too busy as it will distract from the awesome content you’re sharing. And DO NOT have a window behind you. Keep your camera at eye level, and don’t be too close or too far from the screen — find that “Goldilocks” sweet spot.
TIP: Have some personal affects in the background of the video screen to show your who you are as a person. People will notice, and remember!
ANOTHER TIP: Invest in a small ring light to clip on your laptop to use when you can't access natural light.
Practice Makes Perfect
Record yourself giving your presentation. That way, you’ll know what the audience is seeing and what you need to improve on. Add in some smiles and some hand gestures to keep the presentation lively.
TIP: Show a friend or colleague the video to get their feedback as well.
Solid colors are best for the camera. Make sure whatever color you choose doesn’t clash with your background. For a virtual event, you can get away with being more business casual than business. By all means, wear pajama bottoms — just make sure you don’t stand up during the presentation!
TIP: Your video may be shown with an overlay or background that shows the conference’s colors. Be prepared so you don’t clash with the branding.
And Finally… Relax!
It’s easier to listen to someone giving a presentation who is clearly comfortable and authentic. Take the above tips into serious consideration and you’ll be sure to get amazing results and positive feedback. And just be yourself — showing your personality will go a long way.
Best of luck to you!
Courtney Moore is the director of marketing and content (and virtual speaker advice-giver) for the International Franchise Association (IFA).