September 15, 2020
By Cvent Guest

Speaker support is one of the most important elements when it comes to live events. However, it’s even more critical when producing virtual and hybrid event experiences. Virtual speaker support comes in many shapes and sizes, but it can also be boiled down into a few key areas of focus. What are some fundamental actions you can take to ensure that each of your remote speakers has a smooth and enjoyable experience? What all should you consider to ensure that your audience is fully engaged?

In OVATION’s most recent video in their Lesser Known Truths About Virtual Events series, Peter Gentile discusses the secret sauce to success when supporting your virtual event speakers. You can watch this episode here. Let’s dig a little deeper into a few of the tips you can implement into your virtual event workflow:

1. Give your speakers the right tools, and the right training, to elevate not only their experience but also your audience experience

These days, many if not most of your presenters are recording or livestreaming their content from their home offices. Hopefully, they have access to technology such as a laptop with a camera and they have a strong internet signal – these are all great starting points. However, what we’ve found is that presenting from a desk at home, maybe hunched over and in possibly not a well-lit room is not a very natural process for many. And, getting this right is critical when you want your speakers to deliver a presentation of meaning that really engages the audience.

The #1 way to better support your virtual speakers is by not only understanding their technology capabilities and the resources that they have, but also in providing them with the right technology, tools, and lighting as well as remote speaker set-up, coaching, audio assistance, rehearsals, and day-of technical support.

It’s also important to consider making an investment in your speakers for the recording and editing process. This really raises the level of engagement and the quality of the content that you are bringing forward.

2. Take a look at the length of your speakers’ content and presentations

It goes without saying that the virtual experience contrasts greatly from the live experience. With virtual, you don’t have the luxury of a huge ballroom with music, lights, and a stage up front. In a live event, having a keynote speaker on stage for a longer duration of time makes complete sense. However, when your audience is staring at a computer screen, there is a different set of factors to consider.

We recommend taking a look at the length of your speakers’ content and presentations and trying to minimize this wherever possible. For example, instead of a keynote speaker giving an hour-long speech, it could make sense to break this up throughout your event to ensure your audience stays engaged the whole time. Moreover, when examining your virtual event show flow, make sure to work in time for your audience’s personal lives. Breaks are just as important, if not more, when it comes to your virtual events.

3. Keep your content as concise as possible

When you are pulling together the content that your virtual speakers will deliver, the big recommendation here is to not include a lot of charts and graphs and certainly not a lot of text. Presentations that are done in a very concise and constant way really help to deliver and engage an audience.

So, as you think about your virtual presenters, what we recommend is that you talk with them first about technology, and then about the content that they are creating, and finally, what is the path to delivering all of these things in a consecutive and consistent manner. If you pay attention to these areas, chances are that you are going to have presentations, and a program of meaning and great impact.

Blog post written by OVATION

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