How to Prepare Yourself for a Zoom Presentation

These instructions are for Panelists that will be speaking during a webinar or video conference meeting.

Zoom Presenter Checklist - Webinar Do's and Don'ts

Set up just before going live:

  1. Restart the computer you are using to free up resources for the Webinar. This will make your Internet connection perform better with your computer.
  2. Close all applications on your computer that you don’t need open to participate in the Webinar.  Stop all computer Notification settings and any applications that make noise.
  3. For the best Internet connection, make sure there are no other users, on the same network that are planning on streaming content or uploading/downloading large files during your presentation.  In most cases, you are sharing your Internet bandwidth with everyone on your network.
  4. All speakers (People) should be close to the camera and microphone.
  5. Make sure your camera is at eye level.  When you look at the camera, you are looking at your audience. Do this to avoid looking down or above your audience.
  6. Do not adjust your camera during the presentation. This should be done before you present.
  7. If you have written notes, make sure your notes are below the camera and between you and the camera, not off to the side. If you pick up your notes, make sure your notes don’t get into the camera view, so they block the camera, and your audience, from seeing you.
  8. If your written notes can be added to a PowerPoint presentation and shared with your audience, it creates a 2nd way for your audience to connect with your message.
  9. Explain how Raising Hands or Chat works for quick audience feedback.
  10. Contact your Webinar Production Host before the meeting so you know how to communicate with them if you need support during the live event.
  11. During your presentation, verbally prompt your Webinar Host to display PowerPoint, Gallery, Polls, etc.  As an example, you would say “On our next slide” or “Now we are going to present a poll”
  12. When asked by your Webinar Host to turn on your microphone or video, please do this quickly.  Your Host will only display your camera feed to Attendees when it is time. 
  13. All Speakers/Presenters should have their audio off prior to the start of the webinar
  14. Make sure that you are in a quiet space with little or no background noises.  
  15. Make a "Run of Show" agenda so everyone knows on a sequence and time basis, what is happing during the Webinar. This is critically important so everyone is on the same page.
  16. Make sure that any Presenter in your webinar logs into the Webinar 20-30 minutes prior to their presentation, so you know they are ready to go.
  17. Make sure the Speakers and Host are controlling the conversations in the webinar.  Don’t let attendees hijack the conversation during a Q & A session.  Speakers and hosts need to take control as quickly as possible out of respect for the other attendees.
  18. To the MC or Host of the webinar.  You must control Speaker presentation times so they don’t steal time from other Speakers or leave no time for Q&A.  You need to respect your audience by keeping to the schedule. This means you may need to interrupt a speaker, thank them, let them know their additional content will be shared with Attendees after the presentation, then move on.

Etiquette During the Presentation (Present Your Best Self)

  1. Keep your live video OFF until you are fully ready!
  2. Collared shirt (solid colors are better)
  3. T-shirts are OK, but must have no branding or fading
  4. Virtual backgrounds: use an indoor scene that is clean and represents a home office environment. Do not use background images from outer space or outside scenes, unless you are supposed to be outside. In Zoom meetings, using a Virtual background with no green screen reduces your video quality in half.
  5. Real-time background: Mute all light coming in from outside behind you (it will cause glare in the camera). Make sure there is some source of light in front of you that can light you if the room is very dark.
  6. Sit straight up.  No slouching.
  7. Sit close to the camera so you fill about ¾ of the height of the screen with your chest and head.
  8. Adjust the height of your camera so you are looking horizontally into the lens. Never look down at the camera.
  9. Try to position your content (your written script or PowerPoint) just under the camera so you are looking at your audience when you are reading your content.
  10. Avoid placing your camera to the left or right of where you are looking
  11. Avoid looking down, up, right or left.  Your audience is the camera lens.
  12. Try to avoid touching your face. Avoid a lot of hand gestures.
  13. Try to smile and nod your head as often as possible to let people know you are engaged.
  14. When you are not talking, you are still on camera so maintain your attention and composure.  As a speaker you are only visible to the audience when you are speaking OR if your Host displays all speakers in GridView, which we will do at the end of most webinars for Q&A.
  15. If you need to take a bio break, stop your video so that people will see either your default profile photo or your name (not you doing something else!).  When you return, remember to start your video.
  16. Unless you are actively speaking, or engaged in a roundtable discussion, mute your microphone so people don’t hear background noises.
  17. Take advantage of the RAISE HAND feature to get the attention of your hosts.
  18. Take advantage of Polls to engage your audience
  19. Encourage people to submit Q&A or post comments in Chat.
  20. In a shared Webinar, you have a fixed amount of time to present.  It is disrespectful to the other presenters and the Attendees if you go over your allotted time.  You taking extra time means Speakers after you may not get their time.  It also means that the Attendees may not get the final Q&A because you took too much time. PLEASE, PLEASE practice your presentation and keep to the time allotted given to you in advance..   Be Respectful.  Everyone's information is important, not just yours.

Etiquette During the Presentation (Present Your Best Self)

  1. Turn your cell phone to silent
  2. Groom your hair
  3. Professional Casual Attire
    1. Collared shirt (solid colors are better)
    2. T-shirts are OK, but must have no branding or fading
    3. Virtual backgrounds: use an indoor scene that is clean and represents a home office environment. Do not use background images from outer space or outside scenes, unless you are supposed to be outside.
    4. Real-time background: Mute all light coming in from outside behind you (it will cause glare in the camera). Make sure there is some source of light in front of you that can light you if the room is very dark.
  4. Posture
    1. Sit straight up.  No slouching.
    2. Sit close to the camera so you fill about ¾ of the height of the screen with your chest and head.
    3. Adjust the height of your camera so you are looking horizontally into the lens. Never look down at the camera.
    4. Try to position your content (your written script or PowerPoint) just under the camera so you are looking at your audience when you are reading your content.
    5. Avoid placing your camera to the left or right of where you are looking
    6. Avoid looking down, up, right or left.  Your audience is the camera lens.
    7. Try to avoid touching your face. Avoid a lot of hand gestures.
    8. Try to smile and nod your head as often as possible to let people know you are engaged.
    9. When you are not talking, you are still on camera so maintain your attention and composure.  As a speaker you are only visible to the audience when you are speaking OR if your Host displays all speakers in GridView, which we will do at the end of most webinars for Q&A.
    10. If you need to take a bio break, stop your video so that people will see either your default profile photo or your name (not you doing something else!).  When you return, remember to start your video.
  5. Display the CHAT Window that allows the Host, you and other Panelists to privately communicate with each other during the presentation.  During your presentation, occasionally look at the CHAT windows so you get feedback from your host, regarding audio or visual problems, something that does not look good in your presentation or time remaining before your presentation time is over.
  6. Engaging Your Audience
    1. Unless you are actively speaking, or engaged in a roundtable discussion, mute your microphone so people don’t hear background noises.
    2. Take advantage of the RAISE HAND feature to get the attention of your hosts.
    3. Take advantage of Polls to engage your audience
    4. Encourage people to submit Q&A or post comments in Chat.
  7. Be respectful to other Panelists
    1. In a shared Webinar, you have a fixed amount of time to present.  It is disrespectful to the other presenters and the Attendees if you go over your allotted time.  You taking extra time means Speakers after you may not get their time.  It also means that the Attendees may not get the final Q&A because you took too much time. PLEASE, PLEASE practice your presentation and keep to the time allotted given to you in advance.   Be Respectful.  Everyone's information is important, not just yours.
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