Kate Pojeta, Director of Meetings & Technology at Event Garde | ReviewMySpeaker.com provided the following tips:

  • Well in advance of being on screen, test your setup: lighting, shadows, background, noise, even the clothing you wear and accessories (do they rub against your microphone and create feedback/noise?)
  • A microphone of any kind typically (not always) works better than the straight computer built-in microphone. Even “ear buds” with a mic will often sound more crisp and clear. Computer sounds (keyboard typing, clicking) can be easily picked up more-so from computer microphones than external mics.
  • Panelists / co-presenters should mute their microphones if they’re not speaking for a significant length of time. 
  • Test your presentation material; what happens to the screen when you share a powerpoint? What alternative sharing methods do you have or could you have as backup? If your internet goes bad, is your material available to the host to share for you? Does your sound play through properly?
  • Is this webinar better live, or pre-recorded with the speaker then engaged in a chat room and Q&A?
  • Do you want questions at the end or all throughout?
  • How should we let you know there are questions if you don’t see the notifications? (text? interrupt? come on our video so you visually can see us?)
  • You will not get the typical visual feedback you are used to from a stage; what other ways can we help you get feedback? Polls? Chat threads/status updates? Thumbs up / raise hands?
  • You will not get the typical interaction and engagement as you would from an in-person event. What are ways to still engage the attendees that align with your presentation?
  • Use your space, use props. Remember that attendees are only seeing your “talking head”. Bringing other items into view, backing away and opening up your space, being animated – all of those things help draw attendees into the presentation.
  • Do you have someone from your team that would be more helpful to serve as a chat moderator / liaison, that can likely answer some questions, filter them, etc?
  • Remember that some silence is okay! Give time for people to reflect, consider an answer, and then craft that into text and type it into a chat.

Deborah Gardner CMP, Author, Speaker & Hospitality Expert/Researcher at DG INTERNATIONAL LLC provides the following tips:

  1. Make sure all your attendees are at a computer. The speaker will want to provide interactivity and so everyone needs to have the ability to respond.
  2. It’s all about content! To keep the attendees attention, you must provide enough content so they walk away with golden nuggets. Stories are great on the stage but virtually, they have to be limited.
  3. Only accept slides to show, no videos. Attendees will get bored watching a video but are more engaged when seeing colorful slides.
  4. No polls. Give your attendees a voice. like chat boxes. Allow them to ask questions or provide viewpoints. You can even conduct an ice breaker too.  
  5. Work as a team! Since this will be a new process for many attendees, you and the speaker will have to guide them through it. Get it crisp, clear and easy to follow.