It’s not every day we need to speak over a virtual platform and that is why learning how to speak well virtually is essential. Given how typical virtual engagements are and the growth in popularity, we figured we’d look into what tips can help improve your ability to speak at virtual events.
Public speaking, virtually or in person, is not as simple as it looks. It takes practice and technique.
We’ll dive into seven tips for how to improve your public speaking virtually
1. Write a Script
First, understand the objective. Know what and how you want to convey the material. Additionally, you want to know what type of script you need, depending on the speaking engagement.
Here’s the quick breakdown depending on what type of script you need:
- Thought leadership or opinion: 20-25 minutes
- Motivational: can be 60-90 minutes
- Product demos or walk-thru: 30-45 minutes
- Keynote speech typically runs 45-60 min.
Why is a script helpful? It can remove awkward pauses and fillers. Your speech will flow and feel effortless.
Plus, you can practice easily with a script beforehand.
By creating a script prior, you can enhance a visually appealing presentation or include visual cues not to sound monotonous.
2. Practice Timing
Timing is everything – once you have a script, you can practice timing (also known as a “dry run”).
Consider practicing on a virtual platform to replicate the situation. You can practice using the platform functions for a seamless presentation.
You can add time to your script and know when to stop, time for questions, lagging, or pauses.
As the old phrase goes: practice makes perfect.
3. Look Presentable
Make sure you dress to impress! Treat your appearance as you would in person. It gives you more confidence and makes your look polished
Pick out appropriate clothing for the event. Whether it’s fancy or casual, dress the part
Make sure your hair is combed through, and if you’re a male, you’ve groomed your facial hair.
The background should be neutral or not distracting when seen on a webcam. So focus on lighting & camera position. Ensure the camera is on eye level, and for lighting, use the right lights.
If you have regular speaking engagements, you can use a subscription service to save on money and rent nice clothing when you have events.
While you practice timing, consider your body language. The use of hand gestures or postures can help, especially in a virtual setting to avoid ‘Zoom fatigue,’ which is more common given the popularity of virtual meetings and events.
4. Test Your Tech with a Dry Run
There’s nothing worse than planning a virtual speech, and your technology fails. Not only is this common, but primarily preventable. It’s also critical for all speakers. We should highlight since it is virtual, the tech is an essential part of your speaking engagement, no matter how much preparation.
Ensure you have reliable internet upload speeds (not just download speeds – min 20 MBPS).
Have a backup plan. In case of an issue, provide ppts, videos, or other collateral beforehand to host as a backup in case there’s a delay.
Are your mic settings correct? Do not rely on default windows connecting past microphones. Make sure it’s on the settings you need and that you write them down for reference.
I used recommended hardware/software and browsers as per the platform specifications.
Hold a dry run a few days prior for practice and ease. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to go.
A test run might not eliminate every technical issue but will certainly reduce the chances.
5. Incorporate Engagement
Lots of us are in front of screens most of the time. Although it’s a speaking engagement, you can interact with the audience to make your presentation more exciting. “49% of marketers say that audience engagement is the biggest contributing factor to having a successful event.” (Marketletic).
If you mention engagement, in the beginning, most people will pay attention since they’ll either want to participate or ask questions, and they’re likely to stay present and in front of their screen
People enjoy interactive experiences so it’s important to take a break for this purpose. Maybe you can have an activity or pause for questions.
Frequent audience polls and getting people live on camera are other options. If you have the chance to engage, seize the opportunity.
6. Invite Family and Friends
If possible, invite family or friends to ease your anxiety about the event.
Sometimes it helps to have a familiar face in the audience, whether you see them or not. Many people have less anxiety about speaking engagements with emotional support.
You can rely on audience members rooting for you and paying attention.
7. Find the Right Virtual Event Platform
Last but not least, you want a reliable virtual event platform.
You have lots of options to choose from, but you must take the time to look at alternatives. You can be as prepared as possible, but without the right platform, you are susceptible to errors or technical issues.
Consider a platform with 24/7 assistance. It will give you peace of mind knowing you have access to help if any issue arises.
8. Don’t Sweat Your Next Virtual Speech
Public speaking on virtual events can be tricky, but using these techniques can make it easier.
Effective virtual speaking engagement can benefit brand image, networking, and business.
nunify allows for smooth virtual communication through meetings or speaking engagements. nunify also offers 24/7 assistance to provide peace of mind for those speaking.
Need help with your virtual and hybrid event strategy in 2022?
Speak to one of our experts today