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Give away: Slides aren’t the solution.
There are a few of us who have already “gone virtual” while the majority of the business world is rushing to do so. Speaking to no one in particular. We are already familiar with how it feels to speak into a camera without knowing if anyone is listening. I’m not referring to practicing in front of a camera. also been there. Today, though, I’m referring to genuinely “performing” in front of the camera by telling jokes, being humorous, and presenting information that receives zero audience participation. the distinction between a keynote and a meeting or webinar.

See that arrangement over there in the image? That is the set for my January-premiered one-woman show. We held a dress rehearsal the day before the performance, and my video crew arrived a day early to record it for B-roll footage. Okay, they replied. Perform your show.

What? Just to make sure my hair looked beautiful in that light and to show them where I wanted things to go, that was all I was expecting. I’m sure they didn’t anticipate me doing the entire show.

It was.

And now for the issue. They required that I perform it in REAL TIME.

What? Is it not possible for me to skim everything and only give you the highlights?

Nope. Lighting and sound required to be aware of what was happening at all times. In case they wanted to steal some video from here and include it into tomorrow’s live film, the camera crew needed to capture images at all times. It has to perfectly match. My lipstick couldn’t even be changed!


I performed my full show in REAL TIME for two hours in front of an entirely empty room with eleven cameras mounted all around, including two directly in my face. I had to perform my show as though there were really an audience there.

You know it’s a comedy program, right?

with narratives?

and playacting?

Inhale twice.

But I did it after taking a deep breath. Perfectly. Well, nearly. I barely paused to ask a question once before continuing as we drove. I completed the entire show in one take. And it was an identical match when they inserted portions of that film into the footage from the following day. The timing was the same for a full audience as it was for an empty one.

The cameramen claimed that they struggled to keep the camera steady because they were attempting to contain their laughter. A few of them even claimed to have shed tears. at a theater that is entirely empty. What the heck is that?

Not that absurd. I was acting sanely. Although I don’t want to, I do. Even when there was no laughing, I already knew how much time to provide for it because my stuff was so carefully constructed and practiced to appear as though it wasn’t. I was well aware of when to accelerate and decelerate. And I was aware of precisely when I needed to address the camera and make a strong statement. Additionally, I was able to deliver my script as though it had just come to me.

That, my friends, is not content delivery as I sit on my couch.

THEN THAT is acting. Authentically. Conversationally. Powerfully.

even without a crowd.

It is feasible. Additionally, you need to upgrade your appearance from the Zoom Room style if you want to win that virtual clientele.

We are employed to produce a live experience in that space as speakers on a stage. We are required to produce a live VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE as speakers on camera. even if all they desire is substance. Especially if the KEYNOTE is a live virtual one Different talents and a ton of practice are needed for this. But let’s reduce your learning curve. What I’ve discovered through time about performing for an empty room is as follows:

PLAN THE SCENE The stage where you deliver the “show” MATTERS to the experience, which is why our clients go to such lengths to organize the stage, set the backdrop, and select music. No matter how attractive your background or how good-looking you are, if we know you are using a computer while your cat is at your feet, we will assume that you are doing so. Yes, it is genuine for a webinar. However, there is a purpose behind raising the stage and making the speaker appear to be the “star” of the presentation. You need to capture that on camera in some way. It’s difficult, I know.
STILL, YOU MUST VISIT THEM. That’s accurate. Make every effort to give them faces. Imagine what they must be experiencing. Visualize your most recent audience in your head. Your energy will be felt by them. I swear. Just like in real life, they will be aware of your presence or absence.
ENGAGE AS IF YOU ARE STILL TALKING. The conversation is still going on. The objective is to achieve it here just as it was on stage: to be genuine, at ease, and connected with them while conversing with them as if they were speaking back. You are not given a pass to become robotic and wooden. In front of a whiteboard, you are NOT a professor. People continue to make purchases from friends. They must like you in order for them to “buy” your message. Do not rule them out. Give a few identifying details. hardly any. And create a conversational, not stilted, script.
ENGAGE DOES NOT REFER TO LIVE CHAT. We don’t want to see you on stage introducing yourself to each person who comes in. Not here either, please. Save your banter for the virtual class, webinar, or post-keynote Q&A. To come show them you can read, they did not pay. Put that off till Facebook Live.
THINK OF THE ENERGY. Okay. I find it challenging to explain this one. I discovered it when I regularly cracked jokes at the nursing home. They weren’t even awake, let alone interested. However, I had to perform at my best every week. I would therefore have to visualize the energy. It is feasible. People frequently do it in sitcoms and movies. They are also without a listenership.
APPLY THE SAME SECOND AS IF THEY ARE REPLYING. Timing is crucial to both a successful live keynote and a successful virtual keynote. Ten times more difficult because most live timing basically involves responding to the audience. Not possible here. Therefore, you’d better already be aware of, feel, or envision how people are reacting to what is absent. You musicians are probably nodding right now. I suppose you could say that you are reacting to the music that is being played.
I used to play classical piano, and when I gave a 16-page concerto with a symphony was playing in the background, I didn’t respond to the audience. I answered the music. In a way, I believe I accomplish the same goal when I speak. We are also able to accomplish this virtually. You can get feedback on your writing without a live audience. (Wow. That’s serious.)

  1. IMPROVE THE PERSONALIZATION. Keep being you, but try to be a little more outgoing. Use more here since you have less to work with. On camera, I always act a little sillier.
  2. WRITE A GREAT SCRIPT. Everyone is asking you to talk less since they think virtual is dull and they don’t want their time squandered. Virtual, though, is only dull if you are also dull. Don’t tell me the video needs to be halved if people must watch it online. If your keynote was three hours long, sure, maybe. A 45-minute keynote, though? Hello? You take up more space in front of the insane man with the mullet and the tiger. Why? You care because you are ENTERTAINED, ENGAGED, and COMPELLED. It has long been a practice among actors. You lack a valid defense. The issue is that the majority of speakers are not actors, thus saying “yes I can do virtual” has to be carefully considered.

And here, stories are more important than living ones. NOT ANYLESS Stories continue to fulfill the same strategic function they always did. The brain is still stimulated and connected by stories in a way that statistics cannot. You are mistaken if you believe that you lack the time to tell stories. Story is at the heart of everything we watch online. Consider this. Take a look at the popular online content. It’s not content, as a hint.

  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT IS NOT REQUIRED. The best chat rooms are. In a virtual meeting, chat room participation is awesome. Usually, they are chit-chatting because people would rather talk to their buddies since they are bored. However, we must exercise caution when making chat rooms the main attraction. I don’t need to text my family at the same time as viewing a wonderful show. People are less interested in the person speaking if they are engaged in side conversations. So, alter that. The secret is to avoid increasing the chat room’s amusement.

TEN. BOOK A STUDIO. Is it actually required? I’m not sure. There are undoubtedly many who will reject your request. But I also know that clients and bureaus are beginning to be quite particular about the exact tools you are utilizing to build your virtual program. The information I deliver from my home computer makes me equally as proud. However, keynotes are much more than just their content. Again, keynotes and webinars differ. A studio gives us additional alternatives if the experience we create online is everything.

  1. WORK WITH A VIDEO EDITOR, PRODUCER, AND DIRECTOR. They would undoubtedly be open to negotiating at this time. Some of us, including myself, simply lack these abilities. All of these people are going to be my keynote speakers online. The lighting, sound, staging, production value, and editing are all very significant in this piece in addition to the narrative. That’s accurate. Someone should take that video and add even more stunning effects to it. They also require quality footage to begin with. If you bring them in too late, they can only do so much. We are capable of so much more than simply dropping in slides.
  2. EXPAND YOUR IMAGINATION BY TEN MILES. I think the majority of speakers in our industry stick to the tried-and-true. They don’t appear to be doing anything particularly unique, brilliant, or creative. A few do. but not a lot. Most are quite foreseeable. Imagine how predictable they are electronically if they are predictable in person. You’d better come up with a unique way to accomplish it if you want to eat up what little virtual business there is.

Have I frightened you? Are you thinking like I have done countless times? “Sacred Toledo! That requires a LOT of labor! How much effort should we put forth for something we are unsure how much of?”

I got it. I’m also thinking those things. About this Corona situation, the only thing we do know is that we don’t know anything. We cannot foresee. We can’t make any promises. And each of us will have to determine what is best for us.

But this is when it becomes really cool. There are a lot of great opportunities here. huge chance to do action that no one else is. Huge chance to break the mold and express creativity. And maybe, just maybe, if you begin exchanging ideas with those who understand them as I am, you’ll go from “No way. Everything from “Wait! This sounds awesome as hell! Let’s get going!”

Who is to say that you must go it alone? One brain is inferior to two. Maybe now is the moment to work together. If you have a good suggestion, let me know!

The even better news is that we are all aware of our attempts to solve the problem. As a result, we receive a little more grace than usual. Finally, some people won’t follow any of the advice I just gave, and everything will still turn out just fine. I’ve simply always been one of those individuals that didn’t accept good enough.

Fun times and I’ll see you online!

Need more virtual presentation skills? Join us on today!

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