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September 28, 2020 by Speakers' Spotlight

Lessons from 500+ Virtual Speaking Engagements

It’s been more than six months since the start of the pandemic and a lot has changed in the world of speakers and events, so we thought it would be a good time to share a bit of what we learned along the way.

We’ve now booked more than 500 virtual speaking engagements, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive—albeit with a few bumps a long the way. Here are some of the key takeaways we’ve discovered about virtual presentations and events:

  1. Content is king
    More than ever before, speakers must have timely and relevant insights and perspectives. Fluff won’t cut it in the virtual world.
  2. Engagement, not motivation, is the goal
    Speakers need to engage with their virtual audiences, or the audience will tune out or log off. Clear takeaways, a logical presentation structure, and simple, effective visuals will help make for a positive, engaging experience.
  3. Interactivity is a must
    One-way conversations or monologues simply don’t work in this setting. Speakers must get their audiences involved in their presentations, or they risk losing them.
  4. Don’t shortchange your audiences
    Attention spans may be shorter online, but audiences will remain engaged if the speaker and content are compelling. 60-minute sessions still work.
  5. Live is better than pre-recorded
    Whenever possible, we recommend having your speakers deliver their presentation in real time. We’ve encountered very few technical issues, and the risk of a technology malfunction is far outweighed by the benefits of the live experience.
  6. Not all great speakers are great virtual speakers
    While some of the talent and skills that work with in-person audiences transfer to the virtual world, some presentations simply don’t work as well virtually. Speakers need to make changes to their presentations in order to connect with and impact their virtual audiences.

We’re continuing to learn and adapt, eager to find our path in this new normal and continue connecting our clients with the fantastic speakers on our roster. Visit our Virtual Events page to learn more about the process of hosting your own virtual sessions. We also have an archive of summaries from our free-to-attend Virtual Speaker Series, which include clips from each session showing what is possible from virtual engagements. Finally, if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.