Presenter/Speaker Tips

When you’re presenting for a webinar or session at a virtual event, there are a few things that can help make the presentation more effective.  While it’s similar to presenting to an audience, there are certainly differences.  It’s been described as a more “one-way” presentation – where a live audience can feed energy into your presentation, you’ll want to provide that energy, feedback and clarification on points you make, all automatically.

QUICK CONTENT TIPS

Less is more – on your slides and notes, try to keep to the 6 x 6 rule or less.  No more than 6 bullets, no more than 6 words each.  Many will say that it should more like a 3 x 3 rule.  Avoid reading slides to your audience – use your slides to punctuate your points and to drive the flow of your presentation, not to provide detailed take-away points.

Speak to the camera (or even just the microphone) in a normal, measured voice.  You don’t have to project, just speak normally, check your microphone levels a couple of times prior to recording your actual session.  It will seem more natural to the listener.

As you present, imagine you’re presenting to a single person.  Your best friend.  You’re having a friendly conversation about the topic at hand and you’re sharing with them.  Keeping the presentation conversational, interesting, relatable and relaxed will help your audience get the most from it.  Remember, it’s likely they’re all alone in their office or location watching your presentation – just the two of you.

Encourage people to interact, talk about chat options, ways to contact you, what they can expect.

Don’t be afraid of humor, but do be aware of your audience, their tastes and preferences and always stick to appropriate humor and language in your presentation.

ON-CAMERA TIPS

When you’re on-camera,  there a few different tips to keep in mind:

  1. Try not to lick your lips.  Consider lip balm to keep them moist.  It’s said that licking your lips can make it seem like you’re plotting.
  2. If you need to stop to think for a moment, by all means, do.  During these thoughtful pauses, avoid looking up.  Look downward if at all possible.  Looking up can seem like you’re making things up, while downward is interpreted as thoughtful and considering.
  3. Avoid extremely tight-patterned clothing.  Depending on the camera, lighting and such, it can make the pattern “dance” in the resulting video and it can be very distracting.
  4. Do not sit in front of a window.  This can give you the “witness” look – where all that’s seen in any detail is your outline.  This is true even if you have shades drawn.  Instead, sit across from a window for great natural lighting.
  5. Check your glasses and try to have a little reflection from lights as possible when viewing through the camera.  You may have to move lights to the side or above.
  6. Look behind you.  Too many times a presenter has taken the time to look great, only to be distracted by a massive, messy bookshelf or moving boxes or other items that are distracting at best.
  7. Have the camera slightly above eye level.  Not so much that you’re really straining to look up, but it will be a more natural look on camera.  The top of a screen is perfect.
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