Tips for Speakers

Thursday, September 9, 2020

Tips on Visuals

  1. Make use of the camera.
    1. Listeners are more engaged when watching a real person talk to them
    2. Be mindful of visual aesthetics & camera angle. Make sure that the camera angle is not making your eyes permanently skewed to one side or making the audience look at your chin and the ceiling.
  2. Camera placement.
    1. Adjust your camera so that it’s giving a straight-on view of your face (even if that means propping your laptop up on several books).
    2. Test it out with a practice session to see how your chosen backdrop will appear to participants.
    3. Avoid presenting in front of a window, because the light coming in from behind you may render you almost too dark to see.
    4. Make sure the backdrop is professional, such as a bookcase or diplomas or a tasteful piece of art.

Tips on Audio

  1. Speak loudly and clearly
  2. Use a headset if possible to remove ambient noise
  3. If no headset is used, hold the session in a quiet environment away from surrounding distractions, noises, dog barking, etc…

Personal Tips for Speakers

  1. Clothing/ attire: As with any television appearance, it’s best to avoid busy patterns or dangly jewelry, which can distract a viewer.
  2. Practice: It’s a good idea to rehearse the mechanics of the webinar software you’re using ahead of times and its capabilities
  3. Imagine a live audience. It may feel uncomfortable to present in the absence of audience feedback, but one popular trick is to simply imagine a good friend of yours “on the other end of the line” and pretend you’re presenting to that person.
  4. Maintain Eye Contact. One often-overlooked element is ensuring you’re able to maintain eye contact with the camera so that you appear to be looking viewers in the eye. Some platforms display video images in one corner by default — and if so, it’s likely that your eyes will drift over there, making you appear to be staring off to one side for no reason.


Ref: Clark, Dorie. How to Give a Webinar Presentation. Harvard Business Review. June 11; 2018

Would you like guides on other topics? Have any tips of your own?

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