For presenters who typically engage with a live audience, the transition to virtual presentations presents different challenges and opportunities. Our team has helped virtual presenters and virtual event planners adjust to the presenting method for years due to our early investments into Virtual Technology. Here are a few tips from our team’s set of “best practices”.
TAKE TIME TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PRESENTATION
This is the #1 tip that we can provide. Preparation is key to a successful event. We have not seen someone successfully “wing it” and advise all presenters not to be the first. Adequate time is required for the following:
- Redesign your presentation to account for shorter attention spans
If you plan for an hour-long meeting, it’s best to keep the “slide and presenter” portion to only about 20-30 minutes. Use the rest of your time to engage with the audience with Q&A and questions for polling.
- Consider how your content will translate in the virtual world
With slides, pictures, and videos being the key presentation elements in the virtual realm, ensure that the content is of good quality and the highest resolution possible. Using exciting but clean transitions will keep the presentations flow exciting and visually engaging.
- Practice, practice, practice
Your AV team should have several initial calls with your presenters before the event to ensure their success. Individual practice sessions are also recommended where audio, camera, and slide controls are tested in advance.
SELECTING THE PROPER LOCATION
Location matters when utilizing a camera instead of commanding a stage. Also, the required technology is a little bit different.
- Use a quiet room with bright lighting
If you don’t have access to a professional studio, an office or bedroom works great as long as it’s quiet and free from possible interruptions.
- Professional Microphone vs. Headset Microphone
We advise presenters new to the virtual realm to utilize a good quality Headset Microphone that allows them to move their head and make gestures without affecting sound quality.
- Good lighting for video clarity
The location, at a minimum, should have adequate lighting to ensure viewers can appropriately see the presenter. Bright Ceiling lights or suitable lamps can work. Our team regularly sends production kits, including a camera, lights, and greenscreen background, to ensure uniform looks for all presenters.
WHAT TO WEAR DURING THE PRESENTATION
Here is where live events and virtual events have the most similarity. Virtual Presenters can feel comfortable knowing their business attire translates well on camera. We advise greys and blues over bright colors. Also, be mindful of accessories that can cause noise during the virtual presentations.
TIPS FOR CONNECTING TO YOUR AUDIENCE WHILE PRESENTING VIRTUALLY
The challenge of connecting to your audience requires considering the viewers and conveying good energy.
- A Smile Goes A Mile
Although you typically can’t see your audience while presenting at a professionally produced virtual event, they certainly can see you. Which means a smile conveys warmth and engagement.
- Look Directly Into The Camera
Making eye contact with your audience is tricky in the virtual environment. There’s no one present to look at, except the camera. Looking directly into the camera and not the computer screen will ensure eye contact with the viewers.
- Don’t Rush and be Patient
There are a lot of moving parts to a presentation. Slides and videos of the presenter all need to be included in a transition plan. With that, as a presenter, it’s best to slow down and allow time for videos to complete and slides to transition fully.
KEEPING YOUR ATTENDEES ENGAGED
- Q&A may be the best method to get direct engagement from event attendees before, during, and after the event. In our platform tutorial videos, we save a particular space in the script for advising of the virtual event platform’s Q&A capabilities. Planners should also encourage attendees to submit questions during sessions and after the event.
- Have a moderator present to handle questions that can be answered without involving a virtual presenter
- Provide instructions on utilizing the polling feature at the beginning of each presentation.