11 Public speaking tips for online meetings

11 Public speaking tips for online meetings

We have all become experts of the video conferencing platforms and, as human beings, we have quickly adapted to what the environment has presented to us.  Now a lot of people are asking themselves how to fine tune the ability to  communicate effectively online and I think these 11 tips could be a good to do list to keep in mind before your online meetings.


1.Get in the right Mood to Talk

As you know your state and attitude are everything, so if we want to motivate others we need to motivate ourselves first. It’s key that you get in the best state of mind and do whatever you need to have the right energy: a walk, meditation, or just a few deep breaths in between calls, whatever recharges you is fine.


2.Dress as if you were live, including shoes

As you can remember in the first phase of the lockdown we joked about perfect tops and terrible bottoms, but it really makes a difference when you dress for success! So, of course, maybe not the full on suit, but the declaration of getting dressed for preparing for a new day. Going to another place gives us the time to disconnect from home to work, same thing here when you are working from home.


3.Wear Some Earbuds

This is very circumstantial and personal to everyone. Technically this improves the quality of your audio even if the connection fails and maybe the video doesn’t work well, you will be heard at the top.

Personally you’ll know what’s best for the expectations of your audience. 


4. Eliminate Distractions

Silence all your devices.

The last thing you want to lose is your train of thought or distract your audience.


5.Find a Neutral Background

To be professional, avoid biases and to help everybody focus on you.

If you have a messy kitchen or people doing things behind you, who is in your online meetings could be more interested in it rather than what you are saying. 

This is also very personal. As you have seen most people use bookshelves as background,I personally change depending who I’m communicating with.  


6.Master Your Lighting

This is one of my personal challenges. I have recently moved to a very dark living space and I’m always walking around finding the best light.

We know how important the non verbal communication is, and this is why it is so important to see each other well.

Choose the brightest room and sit in front of a window, if you can. In this case more is better than less!


7.Prioritise the camera, not the screen

We tend to look at the person or participants we are interacting with or use our monitor as a mirror and check if we are showing our best profile or if our hair is fine.

Instead focus your attention on the camera.


8.Test Your Gear

Depending on what the situation is, make sure that you have covered all the possible scenarios of the situation. Be it a job interview, a one-to-many webinar, or a meeting with your team, make sure you have plan B’s. For example, check that you have a good connection, that you have the necessary software backups, share your presentation with somebody that could assist you, test the video conferencing platform before starting the call and if necessary test with friends and/or colleagues.


9.Check the Time Zone

Double-check the time zone of the meeting, it could be the difference between showing up on time or missing it all together!

Especially nowadays, when it’s so easy to have a meeting with someone living on the other side of the world, checking the time zone should become a habit.

Also the duration of the meeting is important, so make sure to have all the information you need.


10.Preparation and practice

Always keep in mind what is the outcome of your meeting, so that you prepare in the best way possible. We tend to function on automatic, when it’s super important to “calibrate” our presentations to different outcomes. 

Then: practice, practice, practice. Present in front of a video or a mirror, or simply imagine it in your mind, this will give you more confidence.

It may be useful to look at recordings of yourself to help scrub nervous tics, stammers, and other slips in your delivery.


11.Your impact

At the end of the day what will the participants take away? Always remember that people will remember your attitude and how you make them feel.

We can say beautiful words, but people will remember you more for your passion and engagement with the topic and the motivation that you gave them.

Remember to collect as much information about your audience as possible, and to use examples that they can relate to, for example with a sports equipment company, use examples that refer to the world of sport.

And the same applies when speaking to different generations. If they are gen z use references that they can relate to, it has happened to me that I made reference to movies that they had no idea about! For multi-generational groups try to have different references so that you speak to all of them.


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