Stage fright is probably not the best way to describe the anxiety from Speakers and Hosts of virtual events. On top of the regular challenge to deliver a great performance they need to overcome additional pitfalls imposed by the technology and the environment. We collected a couple of tips that will help you to get ready for your virtual performance.
The Technical Setup
- Always run a dry run a couple of days before the event to make sure you have all the hardware and software components you will need.
- If you are using a laptop, use wall power instead of your battery.
- Use headphones to prevent audio feedback and echo issues.
- If possible use a wired Ethernet connection.
- If you are using an Ethernet connection turn-off your wifi.
- Don't overload your connection with other tasks during the session. Turn off automatic software updates, other streaming in the house (Netflix, Spotify, etc).
- Use the most powerful computer you have available, preferably with a dedicated graphics card.
- Reboot your computer before the session and make sure to close all applications and browser tabs that are not absolutely necessary to your presentation.
- Try to control your environment and your background as much as possible. If you have other people in the house give them a heads-up.
- Avoid having light sources behind you. Close the blinds and try to use lights behind the camera.
- Position the camera at your eye level raising your laptop if needed.
- Keep an assistant around if possible.
- Make sure all you will need during your session is close to you and accessible (like a notebook, pen, glass with water, etc).
- Make sure your computer or camera is on a stable base.
- Practice your presentation before and make sure you are comfortable with the app login process, mute button, share screen function, etc.
- Plan for the expected duration of the presentation and keep yourself into the schedule.
- Know who is presenting before and after you so you can run a smooth transition.
- Consider standing for your presentation. This will help you to stay focused.
- Don’t try to over-rehearse or read from notes. Use only written key points for reference.
- Have fun and don't panic when things go wrong.