Tips for Delivering Virtual Presentations

Space Considerations

  • Find a location that you know will be well-lit and quiet
  • Keep the background - whatever is directly behind you - as simple (and still) as possible
  • Depending on the bandwidth of your connection and the strength of your internet signal, asking others in your home to avoid online streaming activities while you present can increase the consistency and quality of your video and sound


Optimizing Your Webcam

  • When setting up your webcam, position yourself in a 'medium close-up’ crop
    • frame yourself, as the subject, from chest or shoulder up, with the top of your head near the top of the screen
    • at a minimum, try to keep your eyes in the upper third of the frame
  • If using notes, position them on your screen as close as possible to the webcam, to diminish eye movement between your notes and the audience
  • Avoid backlighting: the brightest light source in the room should be in front of you, not behind you


...and if Using a Phone Camera

  • Film yourself with the camera in horizontal/landscape orientation (wide angle, as opposed to portrait)
  • Ensure the camera is secured and stable when recording (try to avoid the shaky cam “selfie feel”)


Optimizing Audio

  • Turn off dinging things
    • disable notifications on any tech in the vicinity (including the computer you are using) that might interrupt
  • Mute thyself
    • many technical difficulties associated with live presentations and panel discussions can be alleviated when presenters diligently mute themselves when not speaking.
  • Broadcast from a location free from foot traffic and surrounding conversation
  • A room with hard surfaces and little furniture might make the audio 'tinny'
    • an ideal room doesn’t echo
  • Use headphones, especially in interviews or panel discussions
    • if your headphones have a built-in microphone, this moves the mic significantly closer to your mouth, providing much better audio capture.
    • headphones guarantees that there will not be any feedback, because the speaker is going directly into your ear, not back into the microphone.


A "Preflight" Checklist

  • Make sure you know where you need to log in well in advance
  • Sweet, sweet redundancies
    • make sure the meeting/webinar host and technician have a backup copy of your PowerPoint slides (if applicable)
    • keep the landline or dial-in option accessible so that in a worst-case scenario, you could call into the session and the technician can advance your slides on your behalf
  • Swap cell phone numbers with the meeting/webinar host and streaming technician, in order to reach each other in the case of a technical catastrophe (say, a squirrel chews through your internet cable five minutes before the show)
  • Stay hydrated: having water on hand while presenting virtually is as important as having a glass of water with you on stage.


Additional Resources