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10 Tips to Start Speaking at Virtual Events and Conferences in 2021

By Team CounterPath

Virtual events are taking the world by storm at the moment. Professional speakers are now appearing at a huge range of online conferences and events, sharing their knowledge and expertise with audiences all over the world. And there’s never been a better time to get involved. 

If you’re considering presenting at a virtual event and you’d like to learn more about the best ways of doing so, there are few tips and tricks you might want to consider. Take a look at the following recommendations from our experts to brush up on your online speaking skills, and before long you’ll be mastering the art of virtual presentations. 


Tip #1: Research industry events to make connections 

Whether you’re used to speaking at conferences or you’re completely new to the idea, it never hurts to focus on your connections. 

Begin by researching different events that are coming up in your industry. Look into which companies are behind the events and who the organisers are. Once you know this, you’ll be able to approach key decision makers and start to build a partnership that could benefit you both. 


Introduce yourself to your industry’s top event organisers and explain what you’d be able to bring to their upcoming digital events. Take the time to build strong, authentic relationships with these event organisers and you’ll be first in line if any speaking opportunities become available. 


Tip #2: Explore virtual events software 

With so many events now moving online, virtual event software is crucial. There are plenty of different software options available for events organisers and speakers, many of which have unique features designed to support different conferencing requirements. 

Video conferencing software such as Bria provides a good range of options for virtual presentations, with a multitude of different features available to ensure the success of your next speaking gig. Contact the team for a full demonstration to explore the platform in full, and see whether it could be the right fit for your next presentation. 

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Start exploring the top software options being used by industry professionals, and look out for any new or lesser-known virtual event options that might be of use in your sector. That way, you’ll be able to provide a presentation of the highest quality, maximising engagement for your audience. 


Tip #3: Start attending virtual events 

The more you know about virtual events in your industry, the better. So no matter how busy you are, you need to start attending as many events as possible! Book yourself a place at industry-leading conferences and use these online events to learn as much as you can about how virtual events are organised, and what makes their speakers so engaging. 


Take notes as the event runs to learn from the speakers involved, remembering to note both the positives and negatives of your experience. Use what you’ve learned to hone your skills, to make sure that your own presentation really works for your audience. 

Looking for guidance on attracting speakers to your own event? VBQ Speakers connects audiences with keynote speakers who help them see the world in new, more powerful ways. Working closely with event hosts, they ensure that the organisers needs are fully understood so that their recommendations suitably fulfil the brief.

Tip #4: Think about how you plan to present yourself 

There are many things to consider when you plan a virtual presentation, from the content itself to interactive elements and pacing. But it’s also worth thinking carefully about how you plan to present yourself. 

Remember, your virtual presentation will be broadcast from your current place of work, whether that be a home office or your kitchen table. Make sure your backdrop is professional, and avoid busy surroundings to ensure the focus remains on your presentation. 


Practice your presentation in the exact setting you’ll broadcast it from on the day, and play it back to analyse it from start to finish. This will show you whether or not you need to make any adjustments before the event. 


Tip #5: Focus on your camera 

If the thought of thousands of viewers logged into your presentation leaves you feeling flustered, there are few ways to keep nerves at bay. 

When delivering a virtual presentation, you’ll have several options on what you’d like your screen to show. If you choose to view your own camera feed as you speak, you’ll be able to maintain focus on your presentation and you won’t find yourself distracted by live feeds from audience members, or reels of questions from your viewers. 

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Keep the focus on your camera as you speak to avoid getting distracted, and over time you’ll find that your confidence will grow. 


Tip #6: Perfect your set up

Picture this: you execute the perfect performance, exactly how you planned it - and the audience didn’t see a single second of it because your internet went down.


To avoid this disaster, make sure your internet, camera and audio is set up and working perfectly. Not only does this mean testing all the equipment is in working order well ahead of the event, but it also means being aware of where everything is positioned to ensure the audience can see, hear and understand every part of your performance. So be sure to check the camera angle, lighting and microphone position.


Tip #7: Get creative with the technology

Technology will allow you to bring different elements into your performance, but do it sparingly and intelligently.

With a virtual event, you have access to a number of powerful tools that can really enhance a digital performance. Instead of physically moving from place to place, think about using audio effects or clever editing to create an illusion of movement. You could even think about pre-recording parts of the whole talk, enabling you to edit together different sections to mix up your performance and add a sense of dynamism (something that can be hard to achieve when you’re just sitting and talking to a camera). But only integrate such elements once you are fully comfortable with the virtual format. And don’t let any such frills stop you from getting your message across clearly. If in doubt, keep it simple.


Tip #8: Get to know your target audience 

Nothing loses an audience’s attention quite like irrelevant or unappealing content, but to avoid such a pitfall you’ll need to know your audience inside out. Think carefully about the industry professionals who are likely to book the events you plan to speak at, and learn as much as you can about their priorities, pain points and strategies for the future. 

Careful analysis of your audience may reveal particular talking points that you should discuss in greater detail during your presentation, and it’ll also help to iron out topics that might not appeal. By learning as much as you can about your target audience, you’ll be able to plan a presentation that leaves them hanging on your every word. 


Tip #9: Practice your presentation in a digital format 

Even if you’re an incredibly experienced speaker, you might find yourself a little out of your comfort zone when you start speaking at virtual events. 

Presenting in a digital format feels quite unlike speaking to a live audience, and you may find that you lack the real-time feedback that a live audience would usually provide. But this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, as long as you take the time to practice your presentation digitally. 

Have friends and family log in remotely to listen to you rehearse, and start to think about the best ways of engaging with them while you speak. Practice makes perfect in virtual speaking, so the more you do it, the easier you’ll find it. 


Tip #10: Look into digital interactivity tools that maximise engagement 

There are some amazing digital interactivity tools on the market now, with many inspiring apps and different software options designed specifically for virtual events and conferences. 


Whether you’re looking to include a Q&A which can be accessed in real-time, you want to provide audiences with ways of interacting with each other and with you during your presentation, or you’re looking for genius new ways of presenting your information in a way that captivates your viewers’ attention, it’s a good idea to research interactivity tools. Explore the options and you’ll soon find some fantastic new ways to increase engagement through interactivity. 

Virtual events provide tremendous opportunities for professional speakers to connect with audiences and share their knowledge. Start networking with leading events organisers in your industry to ensure you’re the first to know about new speaking opportunities, and use your time wisely to practise your digital presenting skills. There are some amazing online opportunities available for top speakers, so don’t miss out! 


To learn more about CounterPath UC solutions for virtual events:


Team CounterPath

About Team CounterPath

CounterPath Corporation is a leading provider of innovative desktop and mobile VoIP software products and solutions. The company's product suite includes SIP-based softphones, server based user experience management and UC solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to cost-effectively integrate voice, video, presence, Instant Messaging (IM) and collaboration applications into their VoIP offerings and extend functionality across both fixed and mobile networks.