Ask yourself four questions before you begin an online presentation.
Online Presentation - Who
Who are you talking to? What is happening in their world? What would they like to listen to?
Online Presentation - What
What should you talk about? Hidden in the answer to your first question, is the answer to your second question. What topic will resonate with your audience?
For instance, my audience is interested in the environment, artisan-made, and a holistic lifestyle. I talk about sustainable practices, crafts, ethical production, and wellness.
Online Presentation - How
How will you address your audience? Will it be a conversation? Will the conversation be interspersed with demonstrations? Will it involve collaboration with a third party? Will it be a combination of two or more of these?
Online Presentation - Where
Most of us are at home, so we will do the presentation at home. The location within your home should be guided by lighting and background. Backlighting or lighting from behind is not recommended. Backlighting makes your face look dark. Neither are lighting from above or side ideal for you. Ideally, you should have soft, diffused lighting coming from the front. If lighting from the front is not adequate, you may supplement it with an additional light source e.g., a table lamp.
On a clear day, recording your presentation in your balcony or backyard works well. If you are recording outside, be mindful of the noise.
Online Presentation - Background
The rule of thumb is to present against an uncluttered background. Personally, I do not mind a little bit of clutter, as long as it is relevant and aesthetically presented.
Positioning your device
Your computer or phone should be eye level with you or just above, on par with your hairline. Many people talk into the phone from above. This is an unflattering angle. Your audience is forced to look up your nostrils.
A live audience is missing in an online presentation. With online presentations, your camera becomes your audience. Speak into the camera and not to yourself on the screen. Engaging with the audience is critical, in physical or virtual presentations.
Hair and Makeup
Your face is in the frame. Make it presentable. Makeup is guided by two factors
You may like the no make up look. You can do the bare minimum. Tidy up your hair. Straight out of bed, tousled hair is not a good look. Tidy your brows. Cover any dark circles or spots with concealer. If you are prone to sweating, dab some translucent powder on your forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. I would recommend a coat of mascara and neutral lipstick.
If you are addressing an audience in fashion, beauty, marketing, go for the whole shebang. I have put the brand names of the products I use, in the description of my YouTube video. Watch the full video at https://youtu.be/MYdkkcJpyy4
You do not have to use the products I use. I would suggest you book a consultation with a makeup counselor. A make- up expert will assess the colour and texture of your skin and recommend products accordingly.
Clothing and Accessories:
You can opt for Friday Dressing for doing an at-home presentation. Business suits can be replaced with casual attire. Kaftans are an all-season, option. They are all-season and suit most body shapes. Pyjamas and track pants are a no-no. They are unprofessional, even for at-home presentation. If you like a relaxed WFH wardrobe, keep a scarf handy. You can tie the scarf around your neck for an instant transformation from casual to corporate.
The bottom half of you can be dressed in a pyjama or track pants. Be careful. Do not get up in the middle of your presentation and give your secret away.
Wear a statement piece, an earring, a necklace or a scarf to define your persona. Do not overdo this, do not wear everything at once. One eye-catching accessory will do the trick.
Jump in. Make your first online presentation. Do not wait for the perfect moment to happen. Have a plan of action, but do not over-rehearse.
I hope you emerge from COVID-19 with new skills.
Listen to the full presentation at
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