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Giving a Speech in an Online Setting


Female Vlogger

Related Reading:

Nonverbal Delivery

          As online public speaking classes become more and more popular it is important to remember a few things specifically about giving a speech for an online audience. 

          First, is an in-person audience required? Delivering a speech with no one in the room does not replicate the real-world experience of giving a speech. Where will you find your audience? We recommend your audience be your peers, supervisors, groups you belong to, groups you seek out at libraries or work among other possibilities. We don’t recommend using your children, animals, or family as your audience because you have a personal connection with them that doesn’t help you receive the true feeling or formality of speaking to an audience. Instead find acquaintances who are at least 16 years old and who will provide honest nonverbal feedback with you during the presentation. When you record your presentation, have your audience sit partially in frame (you should be the main subject of course), so your digital audience can pick up on the nonverbal cues of the in-person audience. 

          Choose a location that is conducive to video recording, like an office or library study room. Somewhere quiet if possible so you limit the distractions to you and your audience. Make sure the background is not cluttered as it could distract your digital audience. Avoid windows or mirrors near the speaker as they could cause reflections and glares. If you are presenting with visual aids, you need to take extra care when filming. If you plan on editing your presentation to overlay the visual aids onto the video, only record yourself. However, if you are not editing your presentation (which is what most instructors will want) make sure your camera angle includes the aids and yourself. Using the Pops Presenter tool can help you integrate your presentation aids smoothly into your speech.

          Furthermore, your video doesn’t have to be as if a film production studio recorded it, but it should be high quality. You don’t need high tech equipment these days—most cell phone cameras will get the job done. Make sure your recording is clear and not pixelated.
 Video recording is only part of the process of recording, audio is just as important. Make sure your audio comes through clear, not grainy, and if using a microphone that it is turned up. If you are using a microphone, make sure it placed the correct distance from your mouth to prevent sounding garbled or distorted. Your vocal tone, volume, pitch, and energy should be as if you are presenting with a room full of people. Give your speech as if you were giving it to a room full of people. 

          Dress appropriately. Including parts of your body that may not be seen on camera. Even if you are filming from your waist up, you need to dress the part. Dressing appropriately has a mental effect on you and will get you in the appropriate headspace for giving a presentation. It will help you feel professional, help your posture, and give you confidence as a presenter. 

          Additionally, stand up (if you’re able to), project your voice, make eye contact with the people in the room with you and to the camera recording you. Mimic a “real” speaking situation when possible.

          Finally, practice makes perfect. No one can succeed on their first attempt. Practicing is one of the most important things a speaker can do, especially when presenting online. Practice several times on your own, and with a live audience before you give your speech. And practice again, on your own with Pops Advisor. Pops Advisor will give you suggestions on what you should improve upon. We recommend you take those suggestions into consideration. Each time you practice pay attention to what feels natural in your presentation. This will make your presentation more extemporaneous and more conversational to your audience. Pay attention to the nonverbal messages your body may be sending. Practice once in front of a mirror to see your facial expressions to your own concepts. In order to succeed as a speaker, practice makes rough good, good better, and better really good. Remember: Practice. Practice. Practice!

Review Questions

1) Why is a live audience important even for an online speech? What type of people should you get to be in your audience?

2) What type of location is conducive to recording a speech? What type of room isn't? 

3) Why is it important to practice speaking before recording?

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