Present Like a Pro: Tips & Tricks for Virtual Event Presenters

 

If you’ve spent time at a virtual event or presentation recently, you’ve likely noticed that not all presentations are created equal. Strange lighting, wardrobe mishaps, and sound or internet glitches all conspire to derail what would otherwise be a perfectly enjoyable event. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and if you’re presenting at a virtual event soon, we want to help! 

 

Whether you’re a client of ours, part of a production company, a regular event host, or just someone who wants to spruce up your family Zoom calls, we have some tips based on our experience in the virtual event space that can help you shine as a presenter

 

Read on, and learn how to put your best virtual foot forward. 

AS A BONUS...

We also have this list available as a handy download. Grab it below, and keep it as a reference for an event or a presenter that needs it! 

General Tips 

  • Hold a Technical Rehearsal. If you’re working with us, we’ll handle this for you, but if you’re on your own, run through your entire event before you go live to uncover any potential issues. 

 

  • During the Technical Rehearsal, make sure you’re in the location you plan to be in for the event. This will help you frame the background and adjust your lighting. 

 

  • Wear what you plan to wear during the event. And please, learn from ousted news anchors everywhere: pants are not optional

 

  • Speak more slowly than you think is natural, just as you would if you were presenting at a live event. Pace is particularly important since your lines may be tied to slide transitions.

 

  • Enjoy presenting. It is a live virtual event after all!

 

Preparing Your Setup 

  • Check your lighting:
    • Create your setup in advance so you can test your lighting.
    • Keep light sources in front of you rather than behind you when possible. 
    • Be cognizant of the natural light and shadows in the room—having your back to a window is not recommended.
      • It’s best to check your lighting around the same time as your event to understand how any natural light affects your video.

 

 

  • Check your audio:
    • Present in a quiet, private space where there’s little chance of interruption or intrusion.
    • Avoid presenting from an “echo chamber”—a room with lots of hard, reflective surfaces like tile.
    • Wear earbuds or a headset if you can—this helps cut down on ambient noise and prevents potential audio feedback to the microphone.

 

 

  • Check your video:
    • Set your webcam as close to eye level as possible in order to get the most optimal camera angle. 
    • If using a laptop on a desk or table, raise your laptop to eye level by placing a stack of books or boxes underneath! 

 

 

  • Check your internet:
    • Check to make sure your internet speed using an online tool such as  www.speedtest.net will work well for your virtual event
    • Both your download and upload speeds are important (and it’s best to share both numbers with production), but your upload matters the most for a solid connection to a production studio!

 

 

  • Decide how you want to use your script, if applicable. Some options:
    • Put a digital copy on a separate device (like a tablet). Place this device above or just below your camera.
    • Use a digital copy with the split screen feature on your computer. Once it’s set up correctly, you should be able to scroll through the script while also seeing the live stream feed. Check out www.easyprompter.com for an example of this in action. Make sure to test this before your technical rehearsal to identify any issues!
      • Eye contact with your audience will be more natural if your script is not the full width of your screen. This keeps your eyes from moving back and forth so much.
    • Place a printed hard copy above your camera (not ideal for large scripts)
    • Print a hard copy in large print and ask a family member or co-worker to help page turn.

 

How you set up your screen is key to having control over your presentation! Whatever your setup, you’ll want to make sure that these windows are viewable at all times, if applicable. 

  • Your connection to the production team (e.g. your video call-in)
    • This typically will have a “return” video feed that might replicate what the audience sees on the live stream and a “backstage” chat to the production team
  • The audience chat
  • Your script
  • The slide content

 

On Event Day

  • Make sure your internet bandwidth is not being consumed by other users in the house (i.e. Netflix, online gaming, FaceTime, or other streaming services).

 

  • Confirm your ‘connection time’ with the production company. The company might provide a unique call-in link for each presenter.

 

  • If your event has live chat, engage with your audience when you’re not speaking (i.e. when a pre-recorded video is playing). Alternately, keep an eye on the chat and then respond to questions/comments live when you’re speaking again.

 

  • Maintain your video connection with your production company so they can communicate with you during your live stream.

If you’re ready to take your event to the next level, Tailored Virtual would love to help.

Reach out below, and let’s talk about how to make your virtual or hybrid event incredible.

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