Presenting online is nearly entirely different than the in-person experience. Event hosts tell me that their speaker’s presentations are falling flat, and speakers who have given their first online presentation feel their session could have gone better. Many associations did not train their speakers for in-person meetings, but given the steep virtual learning curve coupled with the need for presentations to be super engaging, speaker training may be just the thing.
Prospective virtual speakers express three areas of worry – near-panic about being videoed, confusion about the process, and uneasiness with keeping the audience engaged. Here is what your virtual speakers need to know:
Not to Be Afraid
The words “recording,” “filming,” “live,” and “on-air” are scary for many prospective speakers. Virtual speakers are often nervous about either recording day or the day they speak live. They worry they won’t handle the technology, or the technology will distract them and interfere with the quality of their presentation. I know of a speaker who was so freaked out, he canceled just a week before recording day. When speakers understand the process and have a roadmap for preparing, a lot of their fear evaporates.
How to Prepare
First-time speakers and long-time speakers alike benefit from learning the virtual presentation checklist. Slides, outlines, and scripts need to be optimized for online. Virtual conferences also give attendees a view right into speaker’s homes, which can be uncomfortable for some. Speakers need to know how to prepare their space and themselves for a successful recording or airing day. Finally, it helps speakers to know what will be the same as their regular in-person experience and what will be different. Good training covers all of these points, as well as the process, and technology speakers will be using.
Creating Interactive Moments
The last thing speakers want to create is a boring presentation. Speakers adept in creating interactive presentations wonder if they can do the same in the online format. The answer is yes, even when the session is pre-recorded, but the techniques are very different. Advanced planning along with tips for the day the session airs live can add a ton of engagement, making time fly for participants.
An engaging topic isn’t enough to keep virtual attendees captivated. Speaker training will arm virtual presenters with new best practices and creative tips to optimize their presentation for the virtual environment.