Virtual events can be a little unsettling for speakers who are not used to this type of remote conferencing. It is therefore necessary to take the time to prepare them well before throwing them into the lion’s den!
Even if the basis remains the same, hosting a virtual conference isn’t done in the same way as a traditional conference. It is, for example, much more difficult to capture the audience’s attention with grand gestures when you are separated by a computer screen.
Fortunately, if you are well prepared, a virtual event can be just as interesting, and even more so, than a traditional in-person event. That’s why we’ve put together a list of tips for your speakers before the big day, so that they’re ready to deliver a lecture or workshop during your virtual event.
5 tips to give to your speakers to make their virtual event a success
1. Get to know the tool before the big day
What could be worse than a speaker who does not know how to use the videoconferencing tool during a live broadcast?
Before the big day, take the time to explain to your speaker how to use the tool that will be used to broadcast the conference. Send them their access codes in advance, do some tests, especially to check their internet connection (suggest that he find another location if it’s too unstable). Make sure they understand how to share their screen, or how to activate or deactivate the chat.
You can also test his camera and microphone to make sure they are effective. In short, test beforehand to make sure that everything works properly and that your speaker is familiar with the tools.
Don’t worry, if you’re using Eventdrive, this should be quick and easy!
2. Be creative
Imagine the situation: you are about to attend an online conference for the next 3 hours. You’re at home, on your couch, or at your desk, in front of your computer screen. For 180 long minutes, you’re going to have to look at your screen and just listen… Sounds a bit boring, doesn’t it?
Even if the theme your speaker is addressing is exciting, time does not always fly. Don’t forget to remind your speaker that it is essential that they make their presentation interactive.
If you use Eventdrive, you can provide them with many tools that will allow them to avoid the boring monotony of a long presentation. Why not launch a quiz to break up the presentation a bit? With our tool, you can even customize the quiz with images as answer options (do Buzzfeed quizzes ring a bell?). The results are dynamic: the graphs build up and change as people send in their answers.
The key is to offer dynamic content that will keep the participant interested until the very end. By galvanizing the presentation with interactivity, the audience will remain captive.
Looking for creative ways to design your virtual event? Speak with one of our Event Tech experts.
3. Adapt Your Speech to a Wider Target Audience
A virtual event means a wider audience. That’s right! With no physical or geographical limitations, participants from all over the world can attend your event remotely.
If you are expecting listeners from different countries (for example, USA, France, England, Switzerland, and Canada), it is important to let your speaker know.
First, because even if the ubiquitous English language is universal, the vocabulary used is not necessarily the same. The French, for example, may not understand an expression in the same way as Canadians. It may therefore be necessary to explain some terms a little longer, depending on the subject or simply avoid them completely.
It is always a good thing to indicate to the speaker that several nationalities will be present at their presentation to allow them to adapt his speech. They could add specific references that will speak to some nationalities. It’s always nice to be highlighted during a conference you’re attending, isn’t it?
4. Take Your Time
Strangely enough, when you talk in an online conference, you tend to go very fast. You forget to take breaks, you articulate a little less and your rhythm increases. This is probably because stress and lack of orientation make us lose our senses more easily.
It is therefore important to remind your speaker that they have time to present the topic. Remind them of their time slot and tell them that they can use it as they see fit.
If the presentation is supposed to last 2 hours, it shouldn’t be finished after only 1 hour and 20 minutes, you’ll risk disappointing the guests.
To help your presenter prepare their presentation, you can suggest that they use the 10/20/30 rule. The presentation should contain 10 slides, be no longer than 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to make it easier to read.
If 10 slides seem inadequate to your speaker, offer them the following solution. First of all, they can estimate the time they will need per slide. Advise them to add 30 seconds to each slide for safety, and then divide the total length of their presentation by the time spent on each slide. This will give them an idea of how many slides they will need.
5. Don’t Forget to Answer Questions from The Audience
During a physical event, it’s easy to communicate with your audience. During the presentation, participants can raise their hand whenever they have a doubt, need clarification or want to ask a question. During a virtual event, this is a bit more complicated.
It is therefore important that your speaker keeps an eye on the chat to see if participants have any questions. You’re not aiming for them to be interrupted every 30 seconds. But you can, for example, offer to ask the participants if they have any questions at the end of each slide (if a PowerPoint support is used).
If the speaker is afraid of losing track of their presentation because of these minor, you may also want to offer to set aside some time at the end of their presentation for a question and answer session. Eventdrive has a dedicated Q&A feature. With this tool, participants can ask open-ended questions that will be answered directly on stage. It’s a fun way to share the floor with the guests!
It’s important to let the audience speak so that you can get a sense of how they feel at some point during the presentation.
Speaking at a virtual event can be frightening, even for the best prepared speakers! You can easily be lost and be confused by the lack of contact with the audience. But many tools can be made available to engage participants in a different way.
Take the time to explain everything to your speaker before your event to ensure maximum success of their virtual conference!