75% of marketers surveyed by LinkedIn say that they believe they’ll continue to host virtual events over a year from now.
Therefore, to prepare for the events you’ll hold in 2022, you need to ensure that your speakers know how to record virtual presentations.
If you’re a head of CPD and you need your trainers to present an online speech at your next CPD event, send the below article to them as a resource. Below, we list some tips for them to ensure that the virtual training presentations they provide are as effective as possible.
1. Can I Record My Presentation Using a Smartphone?
If you’re a CPD trainer delivering a presentation via an online event, it’s acceptable to record it via your smartphone. You don’t need a professional camera. However, when recording via a smartphone, you should:
• Secure the smartphone using a stand, so that you have a steady shot. Don’t hold it in your hands or lean it against a water bottle.
• Position the phone so the camera’s at the same height as your face. You should be filming your head and shoulders.
• Film in landscape mode, not portrait, so it’s cohesive with the rest of the event and looks more professional on your audience’s screens.
• Check your settings. Your video quality should be at least 1920x1080, and 25 or 30 frames per second (fps).
• To help with the above step, don’t use Zoom or Microsoft Teams to record your presentation. The quality of the end product won’t be of the required standard.
If you hire CPD Online, we can record your speech to a more bespoke quality, but if you’re recording your presentation from home and therefore can’t get a full camera crew in your house, follow the above tips.
2. Virtual Public Speaking
Whether your video’s being prerecorded or livestreamed, virtual speaking can feel incredibly awkward for the speaker. Not feeling like you’re talking to a real person, can cause you to feel awkward and disconnected and result in you rushing through your words.
An article by Harvard Business Review suggests that one technique to help you feel more confident, is to ask rhetorical questions throughout the presentations. For instance, “Are you ready to look at this next chart?” or “What might this finding mean for future generations?”. This’ll create open loops in your audience’s minds, which they’ll naturally want to close by mentally answering them, and so you’ll feel more like you’re having a conversation than giving an awkward one-sided conversation with a screen. You’ll also feel a lot less awkward if they vary their tone and inflections.
Another method of gaining confidence when speaking to a screen, is to imagine a specific person as your audience. Envision your best friend, or someone else you’re comfortable speaking to, and imagine they’re sitting inside your camera. This’ll naturally make your speech livelier over time, and help you feel less disconnected. After a while, you’ll forget that you’re just speaking to a camera.
3. Eye Contact
It’s important that, when speaking at virtual events, you maintain eye contact with your camera. Otherwise, it’ll be harder for you and your audience to connect. You’ll end up rushing through the presentation, and your audience won’t be able to take in what you’re saying. So, only look away when you’re not speaking.
If you’re reading from a script, obviously you’ll need to look at it, but keep it eye-level with the camera and don’t have it visible. If it’s obvious you’re reading from a script, the presentation will seem more stilted. Therefore, your audience won’t be able to follow along as naturally.
This’ll be a lot easier if you hire CPD Online to record, and/or edit, your CPD sessions. You can take a moment to read each section of your notes, and then present them one by one. Any gaps between your speech, where you’re reading your notes, will be seamlessly edited out for the final video.
If possible, try to use an external microphone as opposed to the inbuilt one with your camera or phone. Point this microphone at you. Some suggest that you should move it as close to you as you can without it getting into the shot. However, we suggest that it doesn’t have to be out of the shot. The pandemic got people used to seeing homemade footage. Keeping your camera in the shot won’t do any harm, but it will show authenticity in your footage.
However, authenticity doesn’t equal complete amateurism. You should still film in a quiet space where you can be alone, preferably with doors and windows closed to get rid of background noises. Additionally, put your phone on airplane mode (and face down if you’re not using it to film), so you can’t get distracted during the filming.
If you’ve ever taken indoor selfies or other indoor photos, you know how pesky lighting can be. Position yourself near a window to use its natural light, but don’t position the window behind you.
Make sure your background’s uncluttered. Clutter will distract from your talk, and might even put your talk in a bad light if it makes you look disorganised.
If you’re wearing glasses, you’ll need to watch out for reflections and tints showing up, especially if your script’s on a screen.
You may have to play around a bit with the above factors to find the perfect position - leave optimal time for this.
6. Miscellaneous Tips
It’s best to announce the name of a slide before speaking about it. If CPD Online are recording and/or editing your event video, you can leave a bit of a pause before and after referring to the slide number, as this’ll be cut out in the final edit. This’ll also help us know when to insert the slides during our edit. It’ll also help us if, at the start of your video, you can give us your full name, your title, and the name of your section. Therefore, we can ensure we’ve got all the right videos, and that they’re organised effectively.
Right before the event, take a sip of water, relax your jaw and unknit your brow. As long as you’ve followed the above steps, and practiced using the recording or livestreaming software before (unless CPD Online are doing the recording for you anyway), your virtual presentation should go off without a hitch. Good luck, and remember that you can always request a meeting with CPD Online if you need help recording or livestreaming an upcoming event.