Virtual Speaker Guidelines

Whether you are pre-recording your presentation or whether you are presenting live in front a virtual audience, here are some important things to remember.

You are on ‘virtual stage’. You will be visible to the audience

This conference is a virtual version of a traditional in-person event. The delivery of the conference is produced like broadcast TV, and you will be ‘on-air’.

  • Some general advice for attire:
  • Wear smart casual clothing (not sweatshirts, ‘hoodies’ or at-home lounge-wear unless appropriate to the session) Solid colors look best on camera
  • A neat and tidy appearance is always appreciated
  • Pull back or place any hair away from the face and remove hats or other obstructions so the audience can see you

The audience can see behind you and hear what’s happening in your room!

Attendees will be watching you on camera as well as any content you share. The audience will see what’s behind you, so make sure it’s a good-looking background. Don’t forget that the audience will hear anything that’s happening around you.

Dos:

  • Have a plain, blank wall if possible
  • If a plain, blank wall isn’t available, make sure you are located somewhere where things like a bed, kitchen, bathroom, etc. are not visible
  • Use natural lighting to brighten the room (try being close to or sitting facing a window)
  • Use enough front light so your face is clearly visible
  • Try placing a lamp behind your webcam
  • Ensure there isn’t any movement happening behind you. People or animals walking around are a distraction
  • Be alone in the space, away from loud noises
  • Have your camera at face height if possible so the attendees aren’t looking up your nose or down at your forehead
  • Check your microphone and speakers before starting your recording or going live
  • Make sure there aren’t any offensive items in your background (posters/images with vulgarity etc.)

 

Don’t:

  • Have any animals or people in the background
  • Be in a public location or open plan office
  • Have any background noises in your surroundings
  • Make sure to present from a room with minimal echo
  • Present in a conference room where the audio or video quality is not suitable. Presenting on your own device is a much better result

Speak to the audience

Presenting at a virtual event can be a new experience for people, without an audience or interaction it can feel very different to presenting in-person.

Some helpful hints when speaking to a virtual audience:

  • Speak clearly and loudly
  • Keep a good pace
  • Make sure your energy and delivery are at the same level or higher as when presenting in person
  • Look into the camera, when possible, rather than at the screen – The camera is your audience
  • Stick a piece of paper with an arrow pointing to your camera saying ‘Look here’
  • Avoid waving your hands or moving too much
  • Avoid touching your face. Avoid leaning forward into the camera

Sharing content

If you are want to share content with the audience, make sure you have a ‘clean’ computer workspace. Remember that whatever you share is seen by the audience, and we do mean everything! If something is shared, it’s been shared, there is no way to ‘undo’ something that has been broadcast to an audience.

Some things to remember/check:

  • Only share what you absolutely need to. For PowerPoint/Keynote, share your entire desktop to ensure the audience can see your content
  • Make sure to ‘Share computer audio’ if you have video clips or other multimedia content with audio the audience needs to hear
  • If you are sharing your entire desktop, hide desktop icons and remove desktop clutter
  • If sharing a web browser, share a ‘new’ window, without any other tabs
  • Double check you don’t have any private or confidential information that could accidentally be shared, such as images, content, applications, or any other sensitive files. This is absolutely critical!
  • Don’t share anything unless you absolutely want it to become public knowledge. Once the information is broadcast, everyone watching the presentation will have seen it!

Presentation content

If you are presenting a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation, you will be required to share your screen as a full screen PowerPoint and click through the slide as you give your presentation.

Some hints for your presentation:

  • Download all presentation materials do your local hard drive. Do not share any PowerPoint pictures, or videos through a web browser. These should all be stored locally to your device
  • People will be watching on a range of devices – i.e. a desktop monitor, laptop or mobile device. Less information is often more!
  • Use text sparingly, highlighting key points of information
  • Use graphics where possible – a picture paints a thousand words…and is much easier to engage with
  • If you need to present a text-dense slide, split it over multiple slides, or simplify the language where possible
  • Use high contrast colours, make it easy for attendees to read
  • Don’t use any copyrighted materials you don’t have permission to use