What does it take to be a standout virtual event speaker?
First, let’s talk about the equipment. (All products are linked below – and I have affordable options and more expensive options in each category)
Microphone – you could get a podcaster style mic, but this means you cannot move. Consider this – a lapel mic. This allows you to back away from the computer and use some body language as you communicate.
Lighting – Lighting is crucial, you don’t want to look like you’re in the witness protection program because the light is coming from behind and you’re shadowed. Ring lights work well as they light all around you. I prefer to use to small light boxes on either side because I wear glasses and don’t love seeing the ring in my glasses.
Camera – laptop cameras are not known for being great – your old smart phone will likely have a better camera than your computer. An investment in a webcam will increase the quality of your video.
Background – Find a space where you have the good lighting (natural or through your ring or box lights). Remember that hard surfaces and glass can create an echo. Add some rugs, pull the drapes and test the sound! Find the space that works best for you.
Also, note what’s behind you – clear the clutter or hang a curtain.
Now let’s talk about delivery when you are behind a screen and alone.
As a speaker, I love an audience. One of the challenges of virtual is bringing the same energy to the stage when I am not in the room with my audience. Here are some key elements to help you be more effective and engaging in the virtual space.
Your Voice – pitch, timbre, tone, inflection and emphasis. Use your voice to engage. Be excited but don’t rush through everything. Use volume and powerful pause to bring your audience in. Your voice is a formidable tool- use it well.
Body Language – if you are using a lapel mic, you can back away from the camera a bit and use your body language to engage. Try not to bounce on your heels or rock back & forth, you don’t want anyone getting motion sickness as they watch you.
Engagement – in a live virtual event, engage your audiences. If the event planner allows for questions in the midst of your presentation – do it, if it fits your message. And if you can’t do Q&A throughout the message using the chat feature, ask questions to engage your audiences and ask the attendees.
In recorded events, you can use a text marketing service to share your handouts, message notes and grow your email list.
Rehearsal – as a speaker, you need to rehearse your talk in the digital space. Watch how you engage when you don’t have an audience. Critique yourself and get better.
Being a standout virtual speaker doesn’t require high end equipment, but it does require a few good tools, new skills and practice.
Boya BY-M1 lapel mic – Affordable, simple to use, 20 ft cord allows you to move around, and good sound quality for the price. If you are using this in a live situation, you will need an adapter. The adapter is dependent on your computer.
If you are using this with a cell phone, you will need this adapter.
OPSO Lighting to 3.5 Adapter
RODE Wireless Go Wireless — this is the higher end option
Newer Ring Light with stand and cellphone holder – great option for virtual speaker
QIYA Ring light – this desktop, smaller version ring light is great for small spaces and comes with a remote. Fun feature
LituFoto Light – this is the lighting I use. I love using two of these for maximum light — and I avoid the ring light showing up in my glasses.
Logitech Brio Ultra HD webcam – a little pricey, but typically considered among the best
Wansview Webcam 1080p– good camera for a low price.
AverMedia 1080p Webcam – a great mid range webcam
Textiful – you can start with the free version to try it out and see if it works for you.