| By: Silas Neo

Online Event Speaker Guide: The Best Practices

Everything You Need To Communicate Better In Your Next Virtual Presentation

Virtual event standards are rising quickly. Organizations are looking for people who excel at presenting the agenda effectively, along with capturing the audience’s attention and maintaining engagement throughout the event duration.

There exists a stark difference between in-person and virtual event communication. Hence, even the most experienced speakers today have had to thoroughly reevaluate their strategies for communicating themselves in a more professional and effective manner.

So how can you, as a speaker, look the part while presenting at an online event and ensure better communication? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Have A Good Posture

For a better posture, it is recommended to sit with your back straight, shoulders held back, and head up. It makes you look engaged and conveys your confidence, attentiveness, and alertness to your audience. Avoid leaning on the desk or slouching against the backrest.

Consider zooming out from the camera to show more of your upper body to your audience, allowing for more communication through your posture and hand gestures. It will enable you to direct your audience and guide their attention towards important points in your presentation. 

And while doing this, make sure that your gestures are completely visible within the camera frame and that they don’t block your face.

2. Convey More Through Your Face

Your face will cover most of your frame. That enables you to leverage your facial expressions to your advantage. Don’t forget to smile. It helps start the conversation on a positive note and build a strong first impression.

Exaggerate certain gestures like widening the eyes, raising your eyebrows, smiling, frowning, etc., while speaking to convey different feelings better. Remember to avoid gestures like chewing the lower lip, playing with the hair, itching the nose, and unnecessarily touching your face.

3. Have the Right Camera Angle

Having your computer/phone/external camera at eye level or slightly above it is the most pleasing for your audience to see you. Going higher or lower will obstruct viewing your facial expressions as well as your body language and cause hindrance to your presentation, making them look unflattering.

4. Make Eye Contact

A common mistake that speakers might commit is looking at their screens instead of the actual camera. Make sure you are looking in the camera to make the audience feel you are looking at them. You can look elsewhere when needed, like when referring to your notes or external source material. 

Ensure checking in with your audience from time to time and making a one-on-one connection through the camera. Take care of your body language by positioning yourself properly and ensuring that you are completely visible to the audience.

5. Have an Appealing Background

Your background might not have to do anything with the content you are presenting, but it can significantly hamper the reception of your words. An untidy room behind you with scattered belongings isn’t a pleasant background to have while presenting. It can be unnecessarily distracting for the audience. 

Find a location for your event that offers a pleasant background. You can also opt for a neutral and professional-looking background that accompanies the feel of your event.

Try to minimize external disturbance by choosing a quiet environment for your event. That will help you concentrate effectively on your presentation and have a clearer sound quality while speaking.

6. Tune the Lighting

Lighting is vital for a good on-screen appearance. Have a soft light source in front of you which evenly brightens your face. Keep away from any strong light sources or shadows being cast on your face. Avoid any kind of fancy/experimental lighting, especially backlighting, as it can hide your expressions and make the presentation gloomy.

7. Dress Properly

It doesn’t matter if your audience only sees your upper body in the video. Dressing the part has a significant impact on your overall body language. It helps you feel more confident and relaxed. Business casual clothing without distracting patterns is a good choice. 

8. It’s Not Just Words

Speaking at a virtual event is not all about reciting the content you prepared. It’s about speaking the right way. While presenting, remember to speak clearly and slow down to emphasize key points and facilitate a clear understanding. If you mess up a line or stutter, embrace it and repeat for clarity.

You can support and simplify your concept with slides or video content. But ensure that they are visually appealing and not text-intensive. You must not impose it on your audience to read your content but deliver it yourself in an interesting manner.

9. Use the Right Technology

It is best to have quality equipment like a good camera, lights, mic, etc., to enhance your presentations. Ensure that you know your equipment well beforehand and have a dry run of your complete presentation with it. 

Also, note that feature-rich, all-in-one virtual event management platforms like Onlive not only allow you to seamlessly present your content but also to make it engaging and interactive for the audience. 

10. Establish Audience Engagement

Engaging with your audience is crucial for capturing their focus and making your presentation memorable. 

With platforms like Onlive, you can interact with your audience in a lively manner by complementing your presentation with engaging, interactive activities like live polling, Q&A sessions, online quizzes, surveys, and chats. Asking for their questions, comments, and feedback will help add substance to your presentation.
Lastly, don’t forget to be open and honest with your audience and have fun with the process. To deliver an engaging and memorable presentation at all your virtual events, try Onlive for free!