Experienced Speakers Share Their Secrets for Hybrid & Virtual Event Success - Part 2
Prepping your industry and other non-professional speakers is crucial for your event’s success. Hybrid and virtual platforms have major similarities and differences for speakers, planners and producers. Here’s part two of my network’s best ideas.
Mike Taubleb, November 29, 2021
Prepping your industry and other non-professional speakers is crucial for your event’s success. Presenter deficiencies particularly stand out in virtual and hybrid forums. Most talent my bureau books developed substantial experience for years before the more recent compelled shift. Hybrid and virtual platforms have major similarities and differences for speakers, planners and producers. Here’s part two of my network’s best ideas.
Consider your framing. I put my computer on a stand so it is higher and sometimes use an external webcam to improve the angles and options. Look at how you frame yourself; how close. (Krista Neher)
Consider a dedicated webcam. Some embedded cameras make you look blurry on screen. The biggest reason is that I want to be able to adjust how much background is visible: the Field of View (FOV).
60-degrees FOV: captures one person sitting in front of a computer
78-degrees FOV: wide enough to capture two people facing a camera mounted on a computer monitor
90-degrees FOV: great for showing a whiteboard or a group of people seated at a conference room table
You can adjust the FOV with a separate webcam and its software. Logitech C930 and C310 are the most popular options. (Pam Didner)
Four common mistakes include:
Not using a professional lapel microphone – using the microphone from your computer will not result in a powerful presentation, guaranteed.
Not using two-point fill lighting – without the use of an LED light panel or ring light positioned ideally on either side of you will result in unflattering shadows that can distract from your professionalism and content.
Using zoom backgrounds or the blur effect – don't use background effects, they are incredibly amateur and they will hurt the value of your presentation. It is best to use a real backdrop or an office setting without clutter that has been properly lit.
Digital requires delivery – go very light on your content density, and focus on a buoyant, fun and powerful delivery, that's what works in a virtual event. (Nick Webb)
Stay aware of how attendees are seeing you throughout the whole program. How is your light? Are you big or small and next to your PowerPoint? Just as if you are on stage, manage people's experience of you and the event. (Chris Littlefield)
Always have backup Internet connectivity options quickly available. I have a fixed internet connection to my home (along with in-house Ethernet wiring and WiFi), but in addition to this I have 2 cell phones (different mobile carriers) and 2 high speed mobile hotspots (cell connectivity from multiple carriers - these devices look like WiFi hotspots). I also have a clone backup computer and multiple high quality microphones. If there's an issue with the virtual connection, as a speaker, I've taken every reasonable precaution to ensure that it's not an issue on my end. (Shara Evans)
Without the energy of an in-person audience the tendency is to be a lower energy speaker. In addition to that, the webcam seems to kill the energy. Present with 33% more energy than you think is required just to come off as you originally intended. (Anders Boulanger)
A renewed confidence in returning to ‘live’ is being coupled with a re-evaluation of event design, as planners focus on what value virtual brought to their audiences and how that can be preserved and integrated into year-round event programmes through technology.