Appearance Start with the basics - comb your hair, shave your face, apply your makeup, etc. – whatever you would do to get ready to speak on stage, mimic it for the virtual meeting. Think strategically about your clothing. It is best to wear plain, solid colors, and only white or black if you have good contrast with your background (if your wall is white, don’t wear white, etc.) Avoid anything with an intricate pattern because it can wreak havoc with the camera and be a distraction to viewers.
Connectivity/Internet Check your internet several days prior to the presentation to help uncover lags in audio or video. Use a reliable, high-speed internet connection to ensure a smooth Zoom presentation. If available, hardwire your internet connection for the meeting.
Power If using your laptop, ensure it is plugged in! You do not want to disappear cause of a power drain. Sounds simple but it is worth doing.
Lighting Make certain you are presenting in a well-lit room.
Have a light source in front of your face – whether that light is coming from a window, a professional ring light, or even a desk lamp – just make certain you are front lit. Avoid being back or side lit. If a window or lamp is directly behind you or immediately to your left or right, you are going to end up looking dark and shadowy on one side. Shift your light source or move your setup if needed.
Equipment Good audio or video/ lighting quality may simply mean getting a new webcam or external microphone.
Built in laptop microphones and cameras are not known for their high quality. If you can, purchase an external microphone and camera to ensure higher quality.
Background You want people focusing on your presentation, not what is around you. Ensure the background is not distracting from your face. Many people like to be photographed in front of a bookshelf, but professionals in the field of video production say the "trinkets" on the shelf could cause distractions. For the best result, "plain and simple" – like blank walls, or a wall with nothing but one piece of art hanging works well.
Keep Your Camera at Eye Level The audience doesn’t want to see the top of your head or up your nostrils. Whether presenting from a sitting or standing position, make sure the camera is at eye level. Even virtual eye to eye contact is more comforting and more personal. If needed, grab a box or stack of books to prop up your computer, to make the adjustments until you get it at eye level.
Test Ahead of Time Take the time in the days leading up to your presentation to go onto the video/ audio platform you will be using and make use of the test features to ensure your setup, lighting, audio, and video are working properly. It is much easier to arrange your setup and get a webcam or borrow another computer ahead of time. Do this in the days leading up to the meeting instead of the minutes prior to the opening session.
Manage External Sounds We have gotten used to the noises of the “home” office in the background of Zoom meetings. Manage your noise around your house. Everything in your surroundings can be heard. Let the family know when you will be presenting so no appliances or tools start up during your presentation. Make sure the pets know as well!
Mute Your Notifications Make certain you mute your notifications and silence all devices prior to the meeting. When a loud notification happens during a speaker’s presentation, attendees will immediately shift over to checking their own notifications. This may cause you to lose some of your audience.
Only Share What You Mean to Share When sharing your screen, ensure you are only sharing what you want seen by everyone. If you share your whole screen, remember that attendees will see EVERYTHING you see. Days ahead of time, practice choosing which screen you will share so that you do not lose valuable presentation time searching for the right screen.
Did You Know? UMC Support has a certified Travel and Meeting planner to help your ministry with all its travel or meeting planning needs? Whether you are hosting a virtual, in-person, or hybird event, our planner has you covered!
Reach Out If you need help with any of the above points, email UMC Support’s Connectional Relations at ConnectionalRelations@gcfa.org who can connect you with our Virtual Events team.