Anyone can be a virtual speaker, but not every person can be a great virtual public speaker.
Since the pandemic has prevented us from having in-person events, event planners have shifted to hosting their events and conferences on an online platform. Now, speakers and audiences have to communicate through the screen.
It is important for speakers to take note that in-person presentations are different from virtual presentations. The ways how speakers present during in-person presentations cannot be applied in virtual presentations.
There is a rising need for speakers to develop their online speaking skills. Here are some tips and reminders to help you become a great virtual speaker.
Tips on How to Become a Great Virtual Speaker
Tip #1: Grab Your Audience’s Attention
Add attention-grabbing elements in your presentation. At the start of your presentation, you can hook your audience by telling them an interesting story or piece of information.
You can give them an overview of what they will learn from you. You can also pose a question for them to think about.
During your presentation, you can mention a quote from an expert, tell a personal story, and add humor if necessary and if you’re good at it. You can even use some props if that will make it easier for you to give your message about your topic to your audience.
Tip #2: Keep It Simple
Since people have shorter attention spans when it comes to virtual events and conferences, speakers should be straightforward in giving their presentations. You should give easy to remember speeches and use a maximum of 3 main points.
When presenting facts and information, don’t use lengthy sentences and don’t put too much information in your slides. Make your talk more digestible and use terms that your audience will be able to understand.
Instead of using too much text in your slides, use powerful images to help get your message across.
Tip #3: Engage With Your Audience
Sitting and listening to you for a long time as you speak can bore your audience. To prevent them from dozing off or spacing out, you can use interactive activities such as playing games, conducting polls, having quizzes, and more.
To keep your audience more focused on you, do your best to look at the camera at all times. This will make them feel that you are directly talking to them.
Don’t just look at your screen or read from your notes. This will make you sound monotonous and unprepared. Instead, memorise your presentation, make use of hand gestures, and talk with passion.
As you speak, remember to pay attention to the speed of your presentation. Adjust your pace if you speak too fast or too slow. Also, don’t be afraid to take pauses.
Tip #4: Get Dressed for the Occasion
Just because you are presenting from your home doesn’t mean you don’t need to get dressed. Wear appropriate pieces of clothing that don’t have distracting prints and colors.
Before going live, check your appearance in the mirror. Check if you have anything on your face, teeth, or hair.
Remember that not being dressed properly can make you look unprepared and unprofessional in front of your audience.
Tip #5: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Even famous speakers and people from high positions in companies make mistakes. Making mistakes is part of being human, but with practice and pre-presentation preparation, you can lessen your mistakes.
When nervous, remember to not focus on your fear. Think about something else. You know more about your presentation topic than your audience. That thought should give you confidence in presenting your topic.
Another thing that can help is to do deep breathing and vocal exercises to warm your tongue and shake away those pre-presentation jitters.
Drink water before and during your presentation to keep you hydrated. Making some pauses in your presentation can help emphasize your main points and give your audience time to absorb your message.
Tip #6: Never Sit Down While Presenting
Standing up allows you to stay focused, breathe properly, and deliver your presentation well. It instantly puts you in presentation mode and it will help keep your energy high. You will also look and feel more alert as well as authoritative.
On the other hand, sitting down can keep your energy level low, make you look less authoritative and unprofessional.
Tip #7: Be Prepared
A great virtual speaker is always prepared. Months, weeks, days before your presentation, research about your topic, make your presentation slides, and memorize your script.
After doing research and memorization, practice delivering your presentation with your laptop, microphone, camera, and other tools. This will help you get familiar with your virtual presentation tools by the time of your presentation.
Recording and watching yourself during your presentation practices can help you see how you can improve. The earlier you practice, the better your presentation will be.
Tip #8: Stick to the Scheduled Start and End Time of the Presentation
Make sure that at least 15-30 minutes before your presentation, you have already tested the tools you will use to prevent technical issues. Check your lights, microphone, camera, laptop, headphones, and other tools you need. You wouldn’t want your audience to get impatient waiting for you to set up or solve some technical problems.
Speaking while working on technical issues may be difficult for you, so it’s best if you can find a moderator to help you out. Your moderator will not just help solve technical issues. He or she can also be someone who can help keep track of your time, and gather questions from the audience for you to answer during the Q&A segment.
Tip #9: Know Who Your Audience Is
As a speaker, you don’t just study about your topic, you should also study about your listeners as much as you can before your presentation. Find out your audience’s demographic, age, gender, nationalities, interests, etc. This will help you interact with your audience well and determine your choice of words.
Tip #10: Leave a Takeaway
As you end your presentation, leave your audience with something valuable to remember or give them a challenge. Challenge them with ideas that will change their way of thinking, acting, interacting with the world.
Provide them extra resources such as books, videos, websites they could use to learn more about the topic. You can also promote your own books, videos, websites. Doing this will make you look more credible and look like someone who really cares about his/her listeners.
Applying Virtual Public Speaker Tips
Now that you read these 10 tips, it’s time for you to apply these things in your next virtual speaking engagement.
It takes time and practice in being a great virtual speaker. You have to put in effort and perseverance into who and what you want to be. The more that you try to improve your speaking skills, the more that you will become a great virtual speaker that many will want to listen to.
If you believe you have what it takes, sign up to be one of our virtual speakers by clicking the button below.