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2020 Virtual Conference Sessions: Best Practices for Presenting Virtually
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What do best practices for a virtual conference look like?

Dive right into your content! If you have 15 minutes for your presentation, plan accordingly. Attendees are in the session for content, so dive right in! Moderators will provide a brief opening and help transition from one presentation to the next. Your role is to jump straight into the content.

 

Practice makes perfect! We suggest practicing your presentation multiple times prior to the recording or presentation day, especially with a timer. That way you can ensure that you are prepared and within your time limit.

 

The delivery of your content is everything! If you are using PowerPoints they should be personable, colorful, and dynamic. Replace those wall-of-text slides with images, single key terms, or brief phrases that help to drive the content home without distracting from the presentation. Visual slides help create a more lasting impression. If you need help finding some great images for your presentations, check out Pixabay for high-quality, royalty-free images.

 

Be prepared to be seen and heard! Zoom technology allows both you and your PowerPoint to be on screen. Vocal quality, microphones, and optimizing your meeting space for video can help capture people's attention. Video lighting should be bright and preferably come from in front of you. Your video background should be interesting but not distracting – consider using the Safe States Virtual Background feature when you record!

 

Silence the interruptions! Turn off your phone and exit any programs that might pop up notifications during your presentation (e.g., Slack, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Skype, etc.).  Note that an iPhone, particularly, will ring on a Mac that is connected with a phone, even when muted. If you have pets, children, or others in your work space, take precautions to ensure that they do not disturb your presentation.

 

Don’t compete for bandwidth! If you are presenting from a location with consumer-grade Internet bandwidth, ensure that you are not competing for bandwidth with others in your household. Someone may have to take a break from Xbox gaming.

 

Engagement keeps the attendees awake! At the Safe States Virtual Conference, each virtual session room will have your video section, a chat box, a poll box, and a resource box. As a presenter, you should come prepared for this live engagement by preparing preplanned questions and comments for the chat  prior to the virtual conference. By preparing more questions and comments than you think you need for the live interactive session, you help to ensure that conversation keeps flowing during the live session. Consider the chat box as a place to integrate “conversations and inputs” for both you and your attendees.

 

The polling feature is a great place to learn more about those in the session room and how your presentation relates to them. Consider asking questions that the audience might answer while watching your presentation.

 

We are looking forward to having you as a presenter for the first-ever, Safe States Virtual Conference. While things have changed, we still hope to foster the nature of our in-person conference through active virtual engagement!


Questions? Concerns? Reach out to Eva Bland at eva.bland@safestates.org

 

 

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