Since COVID, we have all been pushed into performing in the virtual world. Some of us find it manageable, while others find it downright scary. Don’t worry though, whether you are a virtual newborn or a speaking pro, here are 15 tips to help you create that X-Factor experience for your next virtual attendees.
1. Be 3D
Just because you’re speaking on a 2D screen, doesn’t mean you need to have a 2D personality. Bring your full self to every session (head, heart, soul, and feet). It’s ok to have your hands go out of the screen, laugh at your own jokes, role play, etc. You have to be comfortable being you, to really shine on camera.
2. A Step Above/Below
Present one step above your audience. If your audience is at a 5, you at least have to be at a 6. If you want to bring down the energy of the room, you need to be one step below. You need to lead the energy of the room in the direction you want.
3. Take them on a Rollercoaster Ride
You want your participants to go through a spectrum of thoughts and feelings during your presentation. Similar to an amazing movie or story. You can do this with storytelling, humor, and mixing things up. You want people to feel as though they are attending an unpredictable show they don’t want to end. If they know what to expect, they check out. Take them on an exciting journey.
4. What You Wear is Important
I got this from Andrew Sykes. In the virtual space, your clothing is only one part of your virtual attire. The way you set up your room is just as important as the clothes you wear.
5. Prepare 70 percent (30 percent expect to be interactive)
Expect the unexpected. 30 percent of your presentation should come from the day. It keeps it fresh and creates a personal and intimate experience.
6. Be different and Show Parts of You
In a world where everyone is telling us who and what to be, oftentimes the hardest person to be is ourselves. If you have to think or over-prepare to say something right, you are likely trying to be someone else. Authenticity is the new currency. To be authentic, you have to be comfortable showing all parts of yourself.
7. Stand Up
This allows you to express yourself better and use the full space of the room too. It also allows for easier use of your hands and body.
8. It’s Ok to Be Silly
Especially during COVID, adding laughter or playfulness helps break down walls. It allows people to bring the non-ego version of themselves.
9. Background Info
I do heavy research on my participants before each session. I need to understand their world for me to meet them where they are. If I give a session that isn’t personalized to the room, they will check out over time. Find ways to make it personal and to connect with them. Each participant in the room should feel as though a moment in your presentation was made specifically for them.
10. Talk to Each Person Intimately
Instead of thinking you’re having one conversation with a room full of people, rather focus on having several one-on-one intimate conversations with each person in the room. Doing your backend research helps with this.
11. Trust Your Intuition
To trust your intuition, you have to be in the moment. If you’re thinking about anything other than being present with your audience, they will feel it energetically. When you’re present with your audience, your intuitive nudges will arise. Trust it and act accordingly.
12. Limit Slides
Remove conventional slides and be interactive. Let your participants be your slides. Every moment of delay or change up is a potential loss of connection with your audience.
13. Vocal and Emotional Inflections
We talk a lot about vocal inflections, but do you make sure your emotions match your words? You should be able to control the emotions of your audience without even using sensible words. This tip is key in creating the rollercoaster ride for your audience.
14. If you want to be better on-screen, you need to work on your personality off-screen
Don’t expect to connect with someone in 5 minutes on-screen, if you can’t do it in real life. So take some time and find a new person every day to connect with in under 5 minutes (I have an exercise for this).
15. Stop Striving for Perfection
Your need to be perfect will hold you back from trying new things or failing. Instead of focusing on never trying to make a mistake, rather, focus on how you react when a mistake happens. You need to have a high sense of awareness and be energetically connected to yourself and the room to do this.
If you have additional tips or would like me to expand more on a particular area, feel free to share in the comments section. As this list expands, we can help other people who are struggling build more confidence and create amazing experiences in their virtual sessions . We are in this together!