Conducting Your Best Virtual Presentation
Tips and take aways on how to give your best virtual presentation
BTV’s Founder and CEO, Taylor Thoen shares tips that you can apply in your next virtual interview or presentation.
Before you hop on that important meeting, presentation, or interview, make sure you are well versed with the platform of your choosing.
Prepare in advance
If you are using a popular platform like Zoom, test the meeting link and password a day prior to avoid any technical difficulties. It is also important to test your audio. Use headphones with a mic, wireless is not as responsive and tend to degrade quality. Also, check your video and sound quality to make sure they are acceptable. Test with a colleague or family member!
Change your settings
Enable HD for a clear picture, 16:9 widescreen (especially for TV interviews), turn on ‘touch up’, enable hardware and turn off display participants. An external HD webcam is a great investment since most laptops come with low-quality cameras and microphones.
Your virtual setup will say everything about you. From your background to the lighting, it is important to pay attention to these details as it can make a huge difference on how you appear on camera.
Having a window behind your screen is optimal for natural lighting. If this is not possible, close your blinds. Do not sit with your back to window, or you will look like a silhouette. If you cannot use a natural light source, then have a light facing you, just make sure it does not show up in the shot.
Do not use the virtual backgrounds – they end up making you look pixelated when you move. Instead, de-clutter your background and add a plant or a picture, a plain white wall is too boring. You could also add splash and brand prominence with your tradeshow booth popped up behind you, it’s great branding and a good use of your investment.
Even with a perfect background, the camera angle is very important. Avoid being too close to the wall, some depth is preferred – ideally 4-5 feet away. You should be 2-2.5 feet away from the screen. Ensure you are eye level with the camera – you should not see the ceiling nor up your nose! If you are using a laptop, lift it up with a few thick books or adjust your chair for a more optimal camera angle. When
filming, be sure to directly look at the camera and not the image of the interviewer on your screen. A tip is to place a sticky note over the screen so you’re forced to look at the camera.
With people not working in offices these days, things have become more casual. Regardless, what is being worn should be a mindful decision. Dress professionally and compliment your backdrop, if you have a black chair and dark walls wear a tan jacket, and a light shirt. If you have lighter walls, then wear color for contrast. Getting a haircut and a clean shave is also a great way to make sure you look sharp on camera. Also, a bit of makeup certainly is helpful and some powder to reduce shine is advisable.
Crafting Your Story
So now you are camera ready! Telling your story is all that is left. Stand out and make it memorable!
Essentially, you want the broker or investor to remember your story so they will share it –that is the goal. How will you do that? Keep it short, simple, and memorable! Avoid industry jargon, always remember – you want your story to appeal to the masses which will only happen if you share a story they will remember with simple language. We have an office litmus test whereby we run scripts by a few BTV staff and if they furrow their brow – they are confused, and a confused investor does not buy! (Also gives you frown lines).
If you are presenting at a Virtual Conference, have footage of your company embedded in your PowerPoint, and have video at your virtual booth. If a picture is worth 1000 words, according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words! Your story should make people lean in and raise their eyebrows. Think of crafting your story like the trailer of a movie. If it is good, then we want to see more. If it’s not good – box office sales will decline, and viewers certainly won’t recommend it.