Welcome to your ultimate guide to delivering the best virtual presentation.
I know that feeling…
When your heart’s beating so fast, it feels like it’s going to jump right out of your chest…
When your palms are sweaty and all you want to do is run away…
The minutes leading up to a presentation can feel super-intense.
Presenting is a big part of your business, whether it’s presenting your course material, webinars or Facebook Lives.
Coronavirus has meant that events have gone online so your presentations are more likely to be virtual.
It’s easy to think that a virtual or online presentation is less stressful because your audience is not physically in front of you.
At least that’s what I thought… and I was wrong!
It offers a whole set of different challenges where preparation and practice is key.
If presenting to camera conjures up feelings of extreme panic and impending doom… I’ve got your back.
I’m going to walk you through everything I’ve learnt about what you need to do before, during and after your virtual presentation, so you have a proven action plan for success.
I’ve always been a confident public speaker so presenting came easily to me, but transitioning to presenting on camera was a whole new thing.
Tech is not my Genius Zone.
I know it. My husband knows it. My team definitely knows it…
And everything about presenting online involves tech 🙁
When I first started I would constantly look down at my notes and totally forget that I needed to look into the camera to make eye contact with my audience…
Fumbling over my words and struggling to switch back and forth between me and my slides…
One time I lost my place (ok, so it was more than one time) and stared blankly at the screen for what seemed like an eternity before I managed to blurt something out.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve sold more than $10 million in programs and services using a simple virtual presentation!
It wasn’t always that easy but I discovered a straightforward approach to make it all doable.
So, let’s get down to business…
And remember, you’re an intelligent woman and everything is work-out-able.
Like anything, filming a great, profitable presentation is about taking Massive Imperfect Action.
And as I always say…
You don’t make money building programs, you only make money selling them.
- Set the stage
- Setting the scene
- Prepare yourself
- Plan what you’ll say
- Decide what to wear
- Practice makes perfect
- Get some backup
- Look after body and mind
- Test your setup
- Know your tech
- Boost your internet speed
- Check your sound
- Engage your audience
- Make eye contact
- Pace yourself
- Edit and publish
- Review and improve
- Celebrate and reward yourself
BEFORE YOUR VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
1. Set the stage
You don’t need an expensive studio setup to create a super professionally lit video…
Whether you’re using natural light from a window…
Or you invest a small amount into a ring light (you can get these for $50 or less on Amazon!)…
Just make sure the light is in front of your face, rather than behind you to avoid looking dark on screen.
This simple hack will make a world of difference (and make your video editing 10x faster!)
|In the resources section of my book, “The Doer’s Guide to Course Creation”, I’ve included a video setup checklist for a shoestring, medium, and high-level budget that lists out exactly what you need to present to camera.|
Setting the scene
I’ve filmed 500+ videos from my living room so you don’t need a studio to start Doing.
I didn’t have a decked out studio space for the first 5 years of my business – and it’s a 100% online business that relies on 100% online content!
A space in your home is all you need…
If it has lots of natural light, even better.
Keep it simple…
A small touch goes a long way – I love to buy a bunch of fresh flowers to put in the background of my scenes.
I think of it as inviting people into my home, into my world.
Just make sure you bribe the kids to be quiet and lock up your pets – I can’t tell you how many takes have been ruined when my dog, Delilah casually walked into the room!
If you decide to use a virtual background, you could buy a portable green screen…
Or for an easy DIY green screen, just buy a piece of material and stick it on the wall behind you… and voila… your very own gorgeous green screen.
What shade of green you ask?
The recommended color for a green screen is:
Pantone 354 C
Hex color: #00B140
My first videos were filmed on a cheap camera, balanced on a Thermomix box, perched on top of my ironing board…
But this sophisticated setup served me well!
It makes me think of when kids get the most amazing gifts but end up playing more with the box than with what’s inside the box 🙂
The key is to have your camera at eye level.
Stand about 2m in front of your background so that it’s just a li’l blurry.
When presenting it feels natural to stand (as you would in real life) which means you can use your whole body to express yourself.
Find a comfortable posture and try not to move around too much so you stay in frame.
If you tend to be a sloucher, practice standing or sitting up straight every time you work on your laptop to build muscle memory.
A good posture exudes confidence and it’s also good for you!
I can just see you straightening your posture as you read this 🙂
2. Prepare Yourself
Plan what you’ll say
If you’ve ever stood in front of the camera and stumbled over your words, you’re not alone!
How you prepare yourself will make all the difference in the world…
Make notes on everything you want to say, even writing out a word-for-word script.
Yes, it’s your Genius Zone and you might have taught it a million times but having a script is always better than “winging it”!
When I started out I had my talking points on a piece of paper next to me, but people could see whenever I looked down at them.
So then I started to put my laptop behind the camera, and that worked really well as I could just look off to the side of the camera and see the notes on my laptop.
Today I use a teleprompter which means I have my entire word-for-word script scrolling in front of me…
I get to look like I have a photographic memory!
A teleprompter, also known as an autocue, is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Source: Wikipedia
Decide what to wear
In my first video I had a mad case of imposter syndrome…
I wanted to look credible and “mature”, so I chose to wear a hideous floral blouse that made the camera do that flashing, strobey thing!
I quickly learned that I should stick to solid colors… no patterns… floral, paisley, plaid or otherwise.
Something that is key for a virtual or online presentation is…
Wear something comfortable…
You don’t want to be fidgeting with your clothes while you are presenting which will be distracting for your audience (and for you).
It’s generally a good idea to always dress up rather than dress down. You want to look professional and confident in whatever you decide to wear.
You know how you always see the make-up person furiously powdering people’s faces between takes?
It’s a real thing!
Somehow shiny looks all the more shinier on camera, so have your make-up on hand for quick touch-ups.
Practice makes perfect
There’s no way around this one. You have to keep practicing.
Do a test run (or two) of the whole online presentation from start to finish, with everything set up as it would be on the actual day.
Practice what you are going to say as many times as you can.
Each time you run through it, you will feel more confident and as you gain experience, you won’t need to practice as many times to feel ready.
The better you know your content, the less you’ll have to refer to your notes.
Be kind to yourself!
I always wanted things to be perfect but done is better than perfect.
The sooner you get your content out into the world, the sooner you can start impacting people’s lives (and making money).
You’re taking Massive Imperfect Action and that is huge!
Stop being so critical of yourself and resist the urge to do another take because you think it could be better… I know you want to 🙂
Get some backup
Whether it’s a team member, an intern, a friend, or your hubby – find someone to back you up…
Just having someone there to tell you that you’re doing a great job does wonders for your motivation!
They can bring you water, powder your nose, help with the tech…
This is vital for any virtual presentation!
My backup started with my husband who would faithfully leave food at the door every few hours when I had a course to film.
If you’re doing a live webinar you absolutely need someone in the comments section responding to your viewers…
They can also help with time-keeping, instead of you trying to do too many things at the same time.
You need to focus on giving the virtual presentation of a lifetime (each and every time), so don’t let anything distract you from doing that!
Look after body and mind
I know life is busy and your to-do list keeps growing but always take the time to look after your body and mind…
Get a proper night’s sleep and start the day with eating a good breakfast – and make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
You need energy to give your best!
Aim for a calm morning before you film rather than piggybacking off the school run or filming in between coaching calls…
Take deep breaths and put aside any distractions…
It’s time to share your Genius Zone and be who you are meant to be.
3. Test your setup
Know your tech
Your goal is to get to a point where you are totally comfortable with all the tech you are using, e.g. how to switch the camera on and off, how to mute and unmute, how to show slides, where to read comments, etc.
I know that moment when you say something so profound on a live webinar and then realize you were on mute the whole time!
And yes, practice makes perfect, so do, do and do again.
There will come a point that it’s second nature to you, I promise!
My point is: test, test, test!
Boost your internet speed
The faster, the better!
The faster and more stable your internet connection, the clearer your audio and visual will be.
Plugging directly into your modem will give you the strongest signal…
Or if you have to use WiFi, make sure the kids aren’t watching Netflix in the other room!
It’s one less thing to worry about and it can be ticked off the list…
(Plus it guarantees you’ll have a good quality replay to send to your attendees when they ask… and they WILL ask!)
Check your sound
Good sound makes a world of difference…
You have something to say and people need to hear it.
I’m not talking about buying an expensive boom microphone or anything like that…
In fact, even the microphone on those free headphones that come with your mobile phone are better than nothing!
As long as you make sure that your sound is clear so they can hear you from start to finish.
This means testing all your equipment and your internet connection beforehand. You don’t want to lose viewers because they can’t hear you properly.
DURING YOUR PRESENTATION
1. Engage your audience
It’s a bit more challenging to engage virtually because you can’t see your audience, but it’s not impossible!
Be expressive and emotive when you’re presenting, and vary the tone of your voice so that your audience doesn’t get bored.
Use your body language to show that you are open and comfortable (even if you’re not feeling it)…
You want your audience to know that you are fully invested in giving them your best!
Build in breaks for activities like polls and Q&A so that you can keep your audience involved.
When you stop to read audience comments, mention people’s names and acknowledge that you’ve read what they’ve said, whether it’s answering a question or sharing your opinion about what they’ve said.
Let’s be honest…
We all want to be recognised and called by name.
It makes us feel special and important… and your audience is very important!
You want your audience to know, like and trust you, so be yourself and show them your unique and fabulous personality.
Have fun and enjoy the ride.
If you’re having fun it will show and your audience is much more likely to have fun too.
2. Make eye contact
This WILL feel uncomfortable at first…
But making and keeping eye contact is important to connect with your audience and to hold their attention.
You might be comfortable speaking on stages to thousands, but as soon as that single round camera lens points at your face…
You turn into a quaking child at a school show-and-tell!
But, learning to master this skill will be the difference between producing an amateur and an ultra-professional online presentation.
In other words, you don’t look as weird as you feel.
If you keep focus on that lens it will look like you are locking eyes with each individual person watching your visual presentation.
3. Pace yourself
I’m an Aussie and Aussies are renowned for speaking super fast…
Whenever I’m talking to my clients in the US I always have to remember to slow things down.
At times I speak so fast that I actually start to hiccup and my clients have to tell me to take it down a notch!
The trick is finding the perfect pace – not so fast that your audience misses half of what you are saying and not too slow that they fall asleep.
Remember to take deep breaths and to pause periodically when it seems natural…
It helps to gather your thoughts and also so you don’t run out of air mid-sentence!
You could even add notes in your script to PAUSE or SLOW DOWN which will help you to get the hang of it (highlight in bright pink if that helps!).
AFTER YOUR PRESENTATION
1. Edit and publish
Don’t panic… you don’t need to sign up for an online course on video editing (and add another thing to your to-do list)!
Video editing only applies if you’re not filming live and it can be easily outsourced…
If you need help, you can talk to us about getting a virtual assistant to do all your editing for you.
2. Review and improve
Whether it’s pre-recorded or live, watching back the virtual presentation is key.
Even though that can be super uncomfortable, it’s the ONLY way to improve!
My mindset coach Patsy was an absolute godsend in the early days when I just started doing presentations.
She was always so encouraging…
Her favorite line was, “Grace, we’re just working with degrees of perfection”.
When you feel like cringing as you watch a recording, remember WHY you’re doing this…
You’re here to serve your market, and if you can improve one minor thing about how you present your Genius Zone, it could increase your impact and influence…
It’s really worth the effort!
3. Celebrate and reward yourself
Well done! You have your first (or another) virtual presentation under your belt. Each one you do means you’re better than you were before.
Take time to celebrate that as a win.
I know it’s not easy putting yourself out there, especially at the beginning when you haven’t built up the confidence that people really want to hear what you have to say… which believe me they do.
WRAPPING UP VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
So Lovely, now you have it… my tips for delivering a virtual presentation professionally and effectively.
Now it’s your turn – take what you’ve just learnt and do, do, do!
If you feel you need some help and want my rockstar team to support you, why not join The Doers Inner Circle? As a member, you’ll get the advice and feedback you need to move your business forward.