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8 Virtual Presentation Tips For A Compelling Online Keynote Speech

8 Virtual Presentation Tips For A Compelling Online Keynote Speech

Are you a speaker in need of some virtual presentation tips? 

Keynote speeches are stressful enough to begin with! You may have spent months of tweaking, reworking, and practice runs getting yours to exactly where you want it. 

You own that stage. 

But unfortunately, the stage has changed and suddenly you’re expected to perform for a camera, not a live audience!

If you’re needing to adapt your keynote for an online platform, you may be a little unsure as to how to begin. But never fear—we’ve put together some virtual presentation tips to help you!

The speaking and events industry is one of the hardest hit by COVID-19. The sudden lockdown on live audiences means that event planners and speakers alike have had to quickly recalibrate their business models. If you’re one of these people you’re likely looking for some virtual presentation tips to help you move an event or speaking engagement online.

Needing to move a keynote speech online can be stressful. But the following virtual presentation tips can help ease the transition and give you some ideas for how to be the most effective and engaging online speaker you can be.

Are you a planner looking for virtual speakers? Check out our roster of talented webinar speakers here.

8 Virtual Presentation Tips For A Compelling Online Keynote Speech

1. Do some run-throughs

You need to get a look at how you present on-camera if you want to be most effective. So practice your speech on video a few times and watch your performance, keeping an eye out for what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps you have a distracting habit you weren’t aware of or maybe you clear your throat or tap your desk regularly. These may not be apparent while on stage but online these little noises can be very distracting. 

2. Work out logistical issues before you go live

Make sure you troubleshoot the platform you’re using and are confident in how to use it before you go live. If you’re trying to figure out glitches while your audience is watching you will come off as very unprofessional.

3. Be interactive

Most online presentation platforms have social features such as live chats or the ability to run a poll or contest. Keep your audience engaged by encouraging chat amongst each other or answering live questions as you go. If you can, employ a moderator to help you manage this.

If you are looking for ways you can increase interaction during your virtual event with polls, quizzes, and word clouds, check out Mentimeter.

Want more? Click here for more virtual presentation tips.

4. Be visually interesting

Online speeches can get boring fast. So be sure to include visual accompaniments to your speech, such as slides or video clips to keep things interesting. Also, be sure to use body language and hand gestures to keep the energy up—give your speech standing up, not sitting behind a desk. Your audience wants to see you moving around.

You can also incorporate some clips from past live events into the live stream to give the virtual experience some additional energy along with giving you a minute or two to have a glass of water or prepare for what is coming up next. 

Another way to keep things “moving” during an online presentation is to have more than one camera going. To discover which camera option works for your budget, read this article on Epiphan with the best 19 cameras for live streaming. 

5. Minimize distractions

Make sure you address any potential distractions that could occur while you’re giving your speech. Make sure all your devices are turned off, you’re in a secure area where someone won’t suddenly stroll through your background, and you won’t need to shuffle papers around. 

Online presence is more important than ever now. Read this post about how to make the most of social media marketing.

6. Choose an appropriate background

Speaking of backgrounds, yours needs to be appropriate to your speech. As a professional, you don’t want to be giving a speech while standing in your bedroom. Rent a boardroom if necessary, or another space that will present you as the professional that you are.

Another idea is to use a green screen. This can help provide a professional (or fun!) background without having to move room. If you want to download some fun free Zoom backgrounds that can be used with or without a green screen, check out this article

Even if you have a good background, it won’t matter if nobody can see you! For some tips on lighting up your online presentation, head over to Tech Republic

7. Invite a live audience

Even though you have an audience online, it could be helpful for you to invite a live audience to be present while you give your speech. This can add a natural element to your presentation as you have live humans in front of you to interact with and “speak” to. This is a good idea if this is your first virtual presentation.

8. Have fun!

Most of all, have fun! This is an opportunity to show a live audience who you are, and trying to be something you’re not will only make you seem inauthentic. So do what you need to do to relax, and just have fun with it. Your audience will appreciate your unpretentiousness and willingness to just being human, and they will be more likely to connect with you and your message.

How have you been adapting your keynote speeches for online platforms? Do you have any other virtual presentation tips to add? Let us know in the comments! 

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

7 virtual conference success factors.
An event planning checklist that works!
Five steps to the perfect celebrity meet and greet

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