Here at Popcorn we’re expert at making people look and sound great on camera, so we thought we’d share our seven steps to presenting the perfect virtual event.
Think of yourself as a personality, not a presenter.
This mindset helps you to come across as affable, approachable, and engaging; all the characteristics that are important if what you said is to be trusted and remembered.
Internal energy is crucial in a virtual environment, we advise people to have an internal energy of 7 out of 10.
Why? if you’re not excited by, and connected with, what you’re saying then neither will your audience be. Smile whilst you talk and look at the camera!
The most effective way of ensuring that you come across as articulate and professional is to script what you are going to say.
We know this involves a bit more work, but it’s worth it; There is a reason why telly presenters are good and one of the main ones is they are scripted.
If you’re new to scripting, here are our Head of Videography, Glyn Chapman’s, top tips:
“Write your script to be spoken, not read and avoid long and complex sentences.”
“Use words that you’d normally say, as writing your script in your own vocabulary will help you to connect with it which will help you to remember it”
“Use a teleprompter. This means you don’t have to memorize your script, which of course saves time and effort. More importantly it allows you to maintain eye contact with your web cam, and as such, your audience.”
“If this isn’t possible print your script out and rest it up against your laptop/computer (out of shot) so that you can read from it.”
If you want people to see and hear you at your best then you need to practice. To do this well say your script out loud repeatedly to get comfortable with it.
Slides can be tricky. They can be distracting and make the job of engaging with the audience more difficult, as you have to fight against them for attention.
If using slides in your event here is our advice:
- Use them sparingly. The more you show the less time the audience will have to digest them and the more time they will spend reading as opposed to listening to you.
- Keep them simple. Slides should only ever provide clarity and/or impact and only support the most important messages. They should never be a verbatim representation of what you are saying/doing. Think abbreviated text, short, snappy, and catchy headings and simple images.
- Energy up! If showing a slide you will have to compete with it to make sure you’re heard. Up your energy levels to 9/10 whilst they are on show. Take your time with your message and be clear and efficient with your words. This will give you more chance of being listened to
Virtual events are a massive branding opportunity. What are the brand messages you want to send? How do you want your audience to think and feel about you?
We talk to our clients about how to ensure that both verbal and visual brand messages work in their favour.
We discuss first & last impressions, as how you start something informs the tone of what’s to come and how you end it will be remembered.
Next, we chat about how they look. This should be a conscious decision, after all, we all know that people form opinions of others based on this.
We talk about creating an online ‘uniform’. This could be a particular colour and style that is always adopted, or it could be a piece of branded clothing.
- Production values.
Production values are the most important areas of any virtual event.
We focus on three main elements; lighting, shot and sound and our key advice for each is;
- When presenting, make sure you are in a well-lit area, with front-facing natural light. Set your computer up in front of a window, and make sure that light is hitting your face straight-on. If this isn’t possible invest in a photography/ring light.
- Avoid low angles. Keep the camera eye-level or higher; You want to make sure your computer’s at least a bit elevated so that you don’t have the double-chin effect.
- Pick the right background. Avoid backgrounds available on laptops and computers. They rarely work consistently and can be very Avoid any background that takes focus away from who should be the star of the show: you.
- Think about what you wear; steer toward solid colours and avoid sleeveless tops or anything off the shoulders. Otherwise, you run the risk of seeming like you’re in your birthday suit.
- Pre-record your session. This ensures you only show the absolute best version of you.
- Use a microphone to ensure your sound is clear and consistent.
- Avoid earphones as they can prohibit engagement.
- Choose somewhere quiet to record. Avoid any areas of the house that you know could be noisy.
So yes, presenting in a virtual environment is pretty different to doing so face to face, and it deserves the same, if not more, consideration if the audience is to remember it for the right reasons, such as being professional and enjoyable.