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Speaker Guide for Virtual Events

Speaker Guide for Virtual Events

This new world has taken us on a journey of relearning things we had spent years perfecting.

Professional speakers who have perfected designing engaging material, hopping on a plane and delivering a stellar experience for your attendees have been launched into a new world too. 

The new world requires speakers’ content to be adjusted, they need to make their home office their new stage and learning how to engage the attendees, when often not even being able to see them, is becoming a newly acquired talent.

7 Tips for Speakers in the Virtual Event Space

Internet Connection

First and foremost speakers must ensure that they have a strong and secure internet connection.

Speakers should hard-wire their internet into their computer. That means, don’t use WIFI. Go the old fashion way, connect the computer to the wall with a wire that looks like an old school phone cord.

When speakers are presenting, be sure that no one else in the household is using the internet. Full internet power should be reserved for the speaker.

Sound

Ensuring a speaker’s sound is on point is no different than in the live world. If the speaker was on stage during a live event and the attendees couldn’t hear them, the attendees would let them know by raising their hand, yelling to the stage (yes that happens) or signaling to the AV crew. 

It is recommended that speakers use an external headset. The mic on your computer is not meant for such high quality sound transfer. 

Using the Right Browser

I am not going to pretend I can educate anyone on internet techy stuff because it is one of the furthest things from my capabilities and knowledge wheelhouse. The key is making sure that speakers are using the latest version of the most common and up to date browser. 

At the time of writing this the most common browsers that speakers should be using are Chrome or Firefox

 

Have a Back Up Plan

A plan B to anything important we do in life is key to ensuring success. Murphy’s Law does not discriminate and it will strike when it is the least convenient – including moments before the speaker is about to be introduced and the power goes out on their block.

Having a plan for back up internet access and for a computer malfunction will go a long way in ensuring that the speaker can perform no matter what happens. See this as the equivalent to the speaker’s plane landing late, the driver that was scheduled to be there is stuck in traffic…what is the plan B?

If the speaker is hard-wired in make sure they have access to WIFI. If the speaker is working from their computer make sure that their phone is charged and has all the necessary links ready to go with the push of a button. 

Setting Up

This step is no different than preparing to go on stage live. The microphone has be in the right place, the slide clicker batteries are charged, the podium is slightly off to the right of the projection screen. But in this case, it’s all on the speaker to do it themselves because there is no AV tech in their home office with them – well maybe there is…

The speaker will be responsible for ensuring that their background is free of clutter (and anything potentially embarressing), the lighting is correct and the camera is at the right angle. 

Content

As if all this other stuff is not hard enough to manage but speakers now have to change their content to match the delivery platform. Delivering material virtually is much different then being live on a stage where they can use body language and movement to get their message across. 

The attention span of virtual attendees is low…really low. The content will have to be even more interesting and engaging. Speakers are encouraged to think outside the box. Step outside their spot as the speaker and visualize their content from the attendees’ perspective. What would keep the attendees engaged and interested? Should the speaker add a poll or videos where there would normally only be an image? 

Test, Test, Test

And last but certainly not least – TEST TEST TEST! When the speaker thinks they have tested enough times, test it one more time. 

Speakers are now required to control aspects of their presentation that they could usually count on someone else to manage for them. Now they are responsible for the content, the sound, the changing of the slides, the lighting…

Speaking to a large group of people is intimidating, even to seasoned speakers. Add the component of managing all of the things that could potentially go wrong and now the speaker is overwhelmed and not only focused on delivering their best content. Testing allows the speaker to ensure that everything they can control has been managed to the best of their ability. If they know they have tested their internet, they know the visuals are good, sound is clear and loud enough and they know their content is on point; then if anything else goes wrong they know that they did everything they could to ensure success. 

We have created a simple downloadable guide that speakers can use for themselves or that meeting planners can use to share with their speakers.

Download it today!

Julia O’Grady has big vision, fresh ideas and a proven track record in the events industry. She and her team work hard to exceed client expectations and push ITM Events to achieve greater heights. A driven entrepreneur, Julia also manages the business side of ITM Events including human resources, finances, marketing and writing grant and sales proposals. In taking a high level approach to event management, Julia is able to visualize a project from inception to successful execution. She attracts valuable sponsors by offering meaningful opportunities to engage with participants. Julia uses her keen analytical mind to create incredible events that maximize the available budget. When Julia isn’t planning unforgettable events, she loves travelling the world with her family, staying active, and enjoying fine food and martinis.

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