How to Deliver a Virtual Talk Your Audience Will Love

(Note: This Q&A series features questions from our readers. Submit your questions to support [at] reginadalesio [dot] com and we may feature it in an upcoming post.)

Question: I’m hosting a free teleclass for my community and am a bit nervous. Any advice on how I can prepare for this so I can keep my audience engaged? Sarah, New York City

Answer: Sarah, congratulations on hosting this event for your community! Virtual events like webinars, teleconferences and online classes are a great way to expand your reach to new audiences and build your list. One of the biggest advantages of virtual events is that you can reach an unlimited number of people because you are not restricted by location or seat capacity.

The downside to virtual events is that you cannot see how the audience is reacting.

Are they asleep?

Are they watching cat videos on YouTube?

Are they filing their taxes?

It’s difficult to know how your message is being received when you can’t see the audience.

Fear not. There are several ways to make your virtual event a success:

Prepare as if it is an in-person presentation

Virtual event has many moving parts including conference call technology, slides, fielding questions and, of course, the presentation. By learning and rehearing the material, you firm up one piece of the puzzle so you can be focused on delivering an amazing talk.

Don’t read your script

Reading aloud should be reserved for bedtime stories with your children. Your audience members are smart and they can tell when you are reading from a script. Prepare notes or an outline of your talking points if you need to have a guide.
Bonus tip – print out your notes and/or slides. Technology is great when it’s working, but it can, and often does fail. Have a back up copy so you don’t have to rely on reading off of your computer screen.

Change up the format

If you’re concerned about losing your audience during your presentation, invite guest speakers to join the conversation. The guests can include a former of current client to share their experience or a colleague who is an expert in the topic you’re discussing. Mixing up the format and making it a dialogue will keep the conversation lively.

Stand Up

When you sit at a desk or in front of a computer you tend to slouch forward, reducing your energy and inhibiting your breath. Standing instantly opens your breathing capacity and raise your energy which will be reflected in the tone of your voice. If you are enthusiastic and energetic, your audience can’t help but be engaged.


When I was in college I worked as a reporter and newscaster for a local radio station. A coworker recommended smiling “on-air” because, as he said, the audience can hear the energy in your voice. I felt silly at first, but the more I smiled while reporting the news, the more I realized how the energy increased in my voice. In fact, many retailers train their employees to smile when speaking with customers over the phone and resolving customer service issues.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you host virtual events? Share your best tip for virtual presentations in the comments below.

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