Leadership Competencies

8 presentation tips for your virtual webinar or live stream

Jerry Seinfeld once said that most people would rather be in the casket than deliver the eulogy. Is that you?

We’ve all heard that public speaking is the number one fear, even for top executives. Adding ‘virtual’ to the mix only increases the anxiety for some since online talks are generally recorded and shared for all of eternity. Take a deep breath and don’t worry.

As a longtime speaker, performer and executive mentor, I have advised countless business people on how to polish up their LinkedIn, GoToMeeting or Zoom presentation. It’s now my pleasure to offer these presentation tips to you.

What should I do with my hands? Is this outfit OK? Should I film it myself or do I need a tech? It’s all covered here.


Essential presentation tips for the new virtual reality

1. Set your camera at eye level

Be sure to keep your camera at eye level. Your audience shouldn’t be looking at the top of your head or up your nose.

2. Avoid hand gestures

Waving your hands or arms can be distracting for your virtual audience. Also, sudden movements may be caught in an unflattering frozen video frame.

3. Create a balanced picture frame

You want to be framed like a perfect picture with a clearance of about 2 inches above your head. Think head-and-shoulders similar to TV news anchors.

4. Stand up for increased energy

Standing will give you and your audience more energy which is what is so desperately needed virtually. If you are an introvert or do not have a loud voice, standing will give you more force to be louder and more engaging.

5. Project your voice

Mumbling is even more difficult to understand over a virtual presentation. Be sure to breathe deeply, articulate your words, and imagine your speaking power coming from your diaphragm, not your lungs.

6. Dress professionally

The general rule is to dress one step above your audience. Get rid of the baseball caps, slogan T-shirts, and wear a collared shirt or a nice blouse.

7. Keep your notes near the camera

The key is to position your notes well. You don’t want to be looking down or turning your head sideways. I keep my notes on a music/recipe stand, slightly behind my computer so it only takes a slight glance.

8. Check your technology before beginning to avoid mishaps

Make sure you are familiar with your platform, whether it is Zoom or GoToMeeting or any other forum you use. Familiarize yourself with hosting responsibilities. No back lighting, and invest in a green screen if you want a professional looking background.

While we don’t know what the new reality for executives is ultimately going to look like, one thing is certain: the business world is already increasingly turning to online platforms for meetings, information and webinars. And that means it is well worth your while to perfect your online act until it shines.

One last tip: Be YOU. Your audience appreciates authenticity and they’ll know when you’re not being real.

Ready, set, Zoom!


Category: Leadership Competencies

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About the Author: Mikki Williams

A longtime Vistage Chair based in Chicago, Williams boasts an impressive list of accomplishments, including as a member of CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame; TEDx speaker; Executive Speech Coach; CSP (Certified Speaking P

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