Knock ’em dead—virtually

medium_3424346781Speaking on stage is challenging enough. You face a whole new challenge when you present a webinar or conduct a virtual meeting. Follow these suggestions for success:

  • Control your voice. Because listeners cannot see you, you must paint pictures with your words. Speak slowly and clearly, varying your pitch, volume and intonation to maintain interest.
  • Show enthusiasm. Maintain high energy and smile when you speak—although no one may see you, your smile will “show” in your voice.
  • Trust your technology. Don’t say things like “I hope this works” or “Let’s see if this thing will cooperate today.” That will make participants wonder about the technology’s effectiveness. You do not want to plant any seeds of doubt.
  • Use questions effectively. Allow “think time” before you call for responses. Give people time to reflect and process new information. Call for responses after 30 seconds or so.
  • Build in interactivity. Every three to five minutes, ask your audience to do something. Ask a question, give them something to read and respond to, invite their comments and questions, and so on. That will ensure involvement.

— Adapted from “Preparing for Virtual Presentations,” The Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education,

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