How to Show Up Confidently On Camera for a Virtual Speaking Gig

Written by the Mic Drop Workshop Team

It’s no secret that virtual events are now just as common as in-person events. From virtual conferences to company-wide Zoom meetings to social media live events, now is the time to polish and perfect your video presentation skills. Believe it or not, presenting on a screen is vastly different than presenting onstage. With tech issues and background distractions, virtual speaking engagements come with an entirely different set of challenges than in-person speaking gigs. Movement coach and Mic Drop Academy graduate Briana Packen shared some of her best video presentation tips to help you show up confidently for your next virtual speaking gig.

The First Rule of a Virtual Speaking Gig

The first rule of a virtual presentation is to be kind to yourself. Unlike an onstage presentation, you’ll most likely be able to see yourself on your screen as you present. When looking at ourselves on video, our eyes often focus on the things we are most insecure about. Instead of nitpicking those small things like a crooked tooth or blemish, focus on what you can control to help cultivate confidence. Do you need to move around and stretch before you present? Does it help to recite a mantra in your head? Can you take a few breaths? “People have different responses to stress,” said Briana. “Make yourself a process so that you can turn on the camera and make a video with the utmost confidence.”

Identify Distracting Habits on a Video Presentation

The best way to identify your distracting habits when presenting on video? Hit record and practice version of your virtual talk.  With practice, you can easily rewatch and review your presentation to build awareness of any distracting habits that you may not have known about otherwise. When you watch your video back, what do you notice? Look out for any areas of tension like hunched shoulders, holding your breath, or speaking with a timid voice. Listen for filler words like “um,” “you know,” and evaluate your talking speed. Is it too fast or slow? Take the viewpoint of the audience to experience your virtual keynote or workshop from an outsider’s perspective.

Set Yourself Up for Speaking success

Lastly, once you’ve identified and improved your on-camera speaking habits, make sure your environment is video-friendly. Clear your background of any clutter, or upload a solid color background instead. If possible, situate your computer in front of a window so that you’re illuminated with natural light. If you’re using slides, try this handy Zoom hack from Mic Drop Workshop founder Jess Ekstrom to pin yourself in the corner while you present. Technology can change or crash on a dime, so make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in and that your microphone and speakers work for a seamless audience experience. 

Just like an in-person speaking engagement, virtual presentations take practice and preparation. Keep these tips in mind to maintain your professionalism and your personality on camera just as well as it comes across onstage.

For more video presentation tips, join Mic Drop Workshop, an online course and community designed to educate and empower future women speakers. Along with our comprehensive public speaking course, you’ll get access to our closed community of 1,500+ women pursuing public speaking careers of their own who have your back, both virtually and in-person. 

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