How To Present Virtually: Tips From The Experts

With more and more companies creating hybrid or virtual conferences to reduce delegate travel, presenters are having to refine their skills for an online audience. Suddenly, working the stage and projecting to the back of the room are being replaced with finding the perfect camera angle and speaking to the individual. 

Mike Piddock, March 10, 2020

We asked our network of master presenters and presentation designers to give us their best tips for delivering outstanding online presentations and engaging remote speaker sessions.

Here are the best of the best:

William Thomson - Communications professional and virtual event organizer

My one tip would be to find out if the content is available to watch after you have spoken. If attendees are able to rewatch your session it can and should impact the amount of content you decide to cover.

 

Rob Geraghty - Founder and Presentation Coach at The Wow Factor

When presenting yourself online, turn the camera on! It’s important in order to capture the full attention of your audience; having the camera switched off and just listening to someone’s voice is disengaging.

To maximise the audience’s attention,  ensure that the camera is capturing your face properly. Lean in so that it is mainly your face that the camera is focused on and not the stuff in the background. In fact, try to declutter the background to make sure you’re the core focus.

Meanwhile, ensure that the lighting in the room is sufficient to make your face clear. Having a source of light coming from behind the camera, such as a spotlight, is great. And cut out any background noise (I use an app called Crisp) to give greater audio focus to the presenter. 

 

Laurie Schloff - Master Speech and Public Speaking Coach

Mix up the format. The value of a meeting is the collective brainpower and problem solving ability of participants. If your meetings are devoted to just updates or providing information, they’re bound to get dull.

Get creative by using a variety of formats within a session. Have participants bring up an issue and have the group chime in. Create opportunities for discussion or brainstorming.

 

Graham Davies - THE Presentation Coach

Watching a "Talking Head And Shoulders" on your laptop screen is a much less enjoyable experience than watching as part of an audience who are in the same room as the speaker.

In fact, it can quickly become rather grating.

So I recommend that Virtual Speakers ruthlessly edit their material, so that they reduce the length of their presentation by at least a third.

Don't include everything you COULD say. Just keep the stuff that you MUST say.

 

Clare Forestier - Media Trainer, Public Speaking Coach, Emcee and Event Host

Imagine you’re talking to one person. Visualise that person. That way you will feel less nervous and it will really help keep the engagement of the audience. 

The individual sitting at home or in their office will be less likely to be distracted if they feel you are talking directly to them and not a gazillion others. 

For example, use the word ‘you’ rather than saying ‘you all’ to emphasise that. If you’re being interviewed on camera don’t talk about the audience as a whole, think of them as one individual person.

 

Stewart Bewley - Director of Amplify, a story-telling training company

I would say that ENERGY is the key. 

If everyone on a virtual presentation saw themselves as an MC who has to bring the energy, like Dermot O'Leary in X Factor, or Ant and Dec - they are the orchestrator, in the moment that they speak of energy and attention. 

Everything is about waking up the audience - if you deliver like an energised and energising MC (not over the top and crazy but with the intention to bring joy and delight to others before you pass on to the next presentation) then you will literally light up that remote meeting. 

Then you become the person who everyone wants on the call, you gain more influence and you build your brand.

 


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