Get ready to speak at a virtual event

September 1, 2020

Are you speaking at an online or a virtual event? If so, this guide was written just for you. Whether you’re speaking at a virtual event powered by SpotMe or merely looking to become the next YouTube sensation, then you’ve come to the right place.

To help our customers deliver their virtual events, we’ve prepared and trained over a hundred different speakers. You could say we’ve perfected the art of speaker training.

In this article, we want to share some practical tips you can use while preparing to take the stage:

  1. Internet connection
  2. Microphone, webcam and lighting
  3. Connecting with your audience
  4. Making your presentation more dynamic
  5. Promoting your talk
We have turned this article into a handy Trello template so you can get super-organized.

#1 Get your internet up-to-speed

Interestingly enough, the venue where you will be broadcasting from matters for virtual events too. For a good quality stream you need to find a spot that:

✔︎ Is quiet, with no echo
✔︎ Has a good amount of natural light (behind your webcam)
✔︎ Has a tidy background
✔︎ Has wired internet connection

The most important aspect of the location you choose is by far your internet connection.

First off, test your connection with an online tool like fast.com to check both download and upload speed. We recommend at least 3mbps for both directions. Next, use our Stream benchmark tool to test your browser and computer performance as well.

Tip: Run the speed test a few times during the day. The speed of your internet connection can depend on many external factors.

If your connection is not up to standards (or you see it change often), you can try a few simple tips:

  • If using Wi-Fi: move closer to the router, place the router horizontally on top of furniture, not under or behind it.
  • Disconnect from VPN if possible, or allow SpotMe’s services to pass-through.
  • Switch to a tethered 4G connection from your phone.

If none of the tips above have helped, you may wish to switch your internet provider, or stream from somewhere else (like an office, co-working space or a hotel).

#2 Microphone, webcam and lighting

To make sure you look and sound great during the live video broadcast, a good microphone and a webcam are a must-have.

While your computer most likely comes with a built-in microphone and a webcam, you will want to use an external device for better quality. We’ve listed below a few recommended products as well as DIY alternatives.

Microphones

DIY alternative: use headphones with a microphone, instead of your computer’s built-in microphone.

Beard tip: If you have a beard and are using wired headphones with a built-in microphone, the microphone will be hitting your beard as you talk and create a crackling noise. You may need to switch to another microphone (or trim your beard!).

Webcams

DIY alternative: Raise your laptop or screen with a stand (use books or boxes) so it’s the same height as your eyes. You can also use an app like Reincubate Camo or DroidCamX to use your phone’s camera.

Lights

DIY alternative: Make sure any windows are placed behind your webcam. Put an all-white wallpaper on your computer, increase screen brightness to maximum, and keep any other windows hidden in order to light up your face.

#3 Connect with your audience

With SpotMe’s platform, you have a wonderful opportunity to connect with your audience even before your talk.

Virtual event platform activity feed
A sample post on the feed. You can add a photo or a video to your post.

Ask your organizer for a pre-launch access to the platform, so you can introduce yourself on the activity feed or get the audience buzzing with a teaser about your talk. You can also follow-up there with any unanswered questions after the presentation.

With the participant list you can see who is attending, their professional interests, job titles and more. Use this information to adapt your presentation.

Pro tip: Participant lists can be a good source of potential contacts for future speaking opportunities.

#4 Make your presentation dynamic

So, we just talked about getting you ready for speaking at a virtual event. Now, let’s talk about your actual presentation.

SpotMe’s event platform has several tools that can help you make your presentation more dynamic: Q&A, Polls and Applause.

Q&A

Through Q&A, the audience can send you questions in real-time during the virtual event.

We recommend including at least a 5 minute Q&A session at the end of your presentation. Work with your moderator to ensure you get asked questions that you prepared for in advance (like these 70 questions), or simply let them know what kind of questions you’re open to.

Tip: Questions can be carefully moderated during a Q&A, so no need to be worried about using it in your live video presentation.

Polls

3 essential tips for polls in virtual events

Polls are a great way to make your audience feel like they are a part of your presentation, not just spectators.

With polls you can ask your audience a single or multi-choice question (with images or photos), ask them to rate something on a scale of 1 to 5, or even ask them to take part in an event word cloud.

Tip: Because live video streams can have up to a 30-second delay, you need to talk for at least a minute before commenting on the poll results.

Applause

Applause is a simple and fun way to get live feedback during your live stream.

The audience can simply click 👏 in order to clap during your presentation. When someone claps, the whole audience sees the 👏 on the screen, and you can see the total number of 👏 in the stream console.

Tip: You can ask the audience to 👏 at specific moments within your presentation. They could for example clap to confirm whether they agree with you, or to give a shout-out to someone.

#5 Promote your talk

Leverage your social and professional networks to attract more attendees to the event. They can be there to support you, or even to learn something new.

Here’s a template tweet or LinkedIn post you could use:

Believe it or not, I will be talking about XXXX on <@event account>. Sign up now to join me at <#event hashtag>

Firstly, start posting about your talk as soon as you get announced as a speaker, as well as on the day of your talk. In addition, post again as soon as the on-demand version of your talk becomes available.

The organizer of the event can let you know if they have an official hashtag to use, or which account to mention in your post. They may also be able to provide a branded graphic you can use.

Closing

We hope that with these tips your presentation will go as smoothly as possible. If you have any additional questions feel free to reach out to our team using the chat button in the bottom right corner of the page.

Finally, don’t miss our free Trello template to help you get started.

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