A Speaker’s Guide to Virtual Events
Like it or not, it appears virtual events aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Instead of lamenting about it, we might as well embrace the idea of appearing on camera to connect with our customers and clients.
Keep this checklist nearby as you prepare for the next virtual event.
Yes, we all can easily log onto our mobile devices for a virtual event, but using a laptop or desktop computer is ideal. They already have built-in webcams and microphones, so you don't need to worry about getting overwhelmed with connecting additional devices. If possible, connecting directly to your internet router through an ethernet cable or setting up as close to your router as possible will provide a more solid connection. If a laptop or desktop computer is not an option, make sure your mobile device is fully charged with the latest updates installed.
In terms of video, make sure your laptop or mobile is at eye-level. Prop your laptop on a box or a stack of books if you don't have the ability to raise it up any other way. If you're using a mobile device, a tripod would be ideal. Give yourself enough headroom that you end up in the middle of the frame. Also, make sure your background is appropriate. Don't set up in a cluttered area that would make the viewer divert their attention from you. If you decide to use a digital background, double-check it works for the event.
Natural lighting can be achieved by setting up with a window in front of you, if your virtual event takes place during the day. Otherwise, you could always invest in a ring light, which could be set up in front of your laptop or mobile device. Never set up a light behind you.
Wear what makes you comfortable and will not constrict your movement. Solid colors are always best! Make sure your hair doesn't cover your eyes. If you choose to wear makeup, use just enough so the lighting doesn't wash out your face. If you normally wear makeup, do your makeup as you usually would. You want to look polished and natural, as people are used to seeing you on a daily basis. If you appear shiny—whether you're wearing makeup or not—dab on some translucent powder to add a matte effect.
PRACTICE YOUR SCRIPT
Set aside time to run through the program before the actual run-through. Practice in front of a mirror so you are aware of any mannerisms that could be distracting to viewers. Speak clearly, project your voice and use your diaphragm—not your lungs—to project. Then, record yourself so you can see and hear how you sound. It's all right to have notes and naturally look down at them, but you also want to be aware of the audience watching you. Talk to the camera, because you are talking to them. Mistakes and fumbles happen, but the show must go on. Give yourself grace! If you have to restart the sentence, go ahead and do it.
Finally, always remember to thank your audience for watching.
Written by Jennifer A. Pascua, Content Engagement Manager for Groups Today.