Speakers

Virtual Events: 10 Best Practices and Tips for Speakers

Eventually Learning Team

Introduction

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, more and more events are being organized virtually (here's how to host one ). Virtual events usually create several challenges for event speakers who are used to speaking impactfully at in-person events. They now have to change their approach, body language, method of delivery, and so much more.

If you are an event speaker who wants to make this much-needed shift, you need to stick to certain best practices and follow a few tips that will help you keep the audience engaged. Here we have mentioned 10 best practices and tips for virtual event speakers to become as popular during virtual events as they were during in-person or live events.
 

Focus on the Basic Details

One of the most useful tips for virtual event speakers that will help boost their self-confidence is to focus on the basic details. Make sure that you dress in business casuals with solid colors. Pick a neutral background and test the lighting to ensure that you are not presenting from the shadows. Set your webcam at eye level and ensure there are no background noises. Also, focus on your body language. Do not fidget, swivel in the chair, or show any signs of nervousness. Be confident and have a pleasant smile on your face. While presenting, make sure your voice is clear, pause to highlight key points and maintain eye contact with the audience. Don't just strive for perfection. Instead, strive for continuous improvement!
 

Get Two Monitors

If a presentation is a part of your session, you need to get two monitors for the virtual event. You can keep the slides on one screen and look at them when talking about it. Use the second monitor to see the faces of the audience so that you can judge audience engagement and answer the questions thrown at you by the audience. If the event is small and you want to be a great virtual event speaker, you need to have the audience face your laptop screen so that you can look at all of them while talking.

 

Don't Over Depend on Words

When you hope to become a successful presenter at a virtual event, ensure that you don't depend on words too much. Make use of visuals to make your content more engaging. Infographics, GIFs, and other creative methods are highly recommended. Also, try sitting up, showing your hands when you speak, sitting a bit away from the webcam, and emoting are the ways to ensure the audience knows that you are there to help them learn something good.
 

Test and Add Videos

One of the tried and tested best practices for virtual event speakers is the use of video elements. People get tired of looking at blocks of texts all the time. So, you can make your session interesting as a speaker by adding video elements. For example, you can use short video clips after doing a dry run. Also, ensure that you enable the audio system before sharing the screen, as it will help optimize the sound quality.
 

Focus on the Camera

Most professional public speakers are aware that it becomes impossible to maintain contact with every member of the audience in a virtual event. A smart move in such a case would be to imagine that you are talking to one person, and that person is looking right at you via your device's camera. So, try to focus on making a connection with your camera. It will make each member of the audience feel that you are looking at them. Hence, you will achieve the goal of boosting the audience's engagement.

Use Breakouts to Boost Engagement

The idea of using breakouts is among the most useful tricks for virtual event speakers who are going virtual for the first time. You can do a short presentation, share a short video on the topic, and then share a few questions that people need to answer for a few minutes. Next, you can send the audience into breakout groups of around five people for about 15 minutes so that they can explore their answers. After 15 minutes, you can bring them back to the main group and let them share their insights. It helps the audience feel more involved and connected.
 

Make the Experience More Real

A successful speaker can make the virtual audience feel that they are attending an in-person event. One of the tips for virtual event speakers that works is to use interactive tools. For example, you can use chat features available in all video conferencing apps to keep the audience engaged. In addition, you can ask the audience to ask questions in real-time and answer them throughout the session. It will give them an experience closer to reality.
 

Seek Help If Needed

Most virtual event speakers agree that things might seem to go out of hand at times when so many people are asking questions during an event. One of the tips for virtual event speakers is to seek help to avoid feeling overwhelmed in such a way. For example, you can hire an assistant who will help you answer all the chat questions while focusing on the event. They need to know that they are just helping you, and they should highlight something you should address so that nothing important is missed out ever.
 

Have Fun!

Being a virtual event speaker is not just about memorizing the tips for virtual event speakers or learning about the tools that help speakers connect with the audience, it's also about having fun. It would help if you showed enthusiasm about sharing your ideas and insights with the audience. You should join with a smile on your face, avoid being self-conscious, and train your eyes to be on the screen the whole time. Crack clever jokes and laugh with your audience to make the entire session worth it. Your audience should look forward to the next time you speak at an event.
 

Learn to Be Okay with Failures

Even if you have noted down each of the tips for virtual event speakers or nailed down each of the essential rules for event speakers, you might still fail at keeping the audience engaged, especially on a virtual platform. If you do, you need to learn to be okay with your failures, find out your mistakes and try to correct them. Not all virtual event speakers are effective in engaging their audience virtually at their first attempt. So, you are permitted to fail too. Don't give up, instead try again with equal enthusiasm.

Final Words

We hope that the tips for virtual event speakers we have mentioned will help you during your sessions. Of course, you are free to tweak these to suit your specific scenarios. There are several methods that speakers use in order to engage the audience. You can learn from each of them until you find what works best for you. As a speaker, you should also keep yourself updated on what's happening in the event industry. One of the recently launched platforms that you need to check out is Eventually. It's a neutral online event review platform where people share their opinions about events, speakers, and even the venue. Some honest feedback might do you some good.

If you are planning your event, you can partner with Media 7 here as a speaker/organizer, make your next event a great success.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find speaker opportunities?

You can find speaker opportunities by going online - tracking event organizers, networking within the event industry, and promoting yourself on social media.
 

How can I be a good virtual speaker?

You can be a great virtual event speaker if you follow the tips for virtual event speakers and speaker guidelines mentioned in the article above.
 

How do you prepare for a virtual event?

You need to prepare for a virtual event by ensuring that you have ample confidence, the right gadgets, the right content, the right background, and you dress up well.

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