One night last week, my wife was online, as she often is before going to bed, and I found her amazingly excited about a DJ who decided to engage a worried world with a 9-hour dance party. DNice‘s dance party engaged everyday people and stars with dance music that took away 9 hours of anxiety and replaced it with a little taste of joy. DNice tapped into multi generations through numerous styles of music and got over 100,000 views. His sense of joy and compassion moved through phones, computers, and TV screens and uplifted us to help us cope with challenging times. He proved that we public speakers can reach our audiences and make meaningful connections through technology.

Being an Actor, Speaker and Coach, I’ve had lots of requests for advice on how presenters and public speakers can be more engaging on Zoom and other video conferencing platforms. Here are my top recommendations:

1. Stand Up!
Yes, stand up to deliver your presentation. Being on your feet will make it easier for you to transfer inspirational energy. You will be better able to use more of your body to express your passion through the screen. Set your camera up in such a way that your viewers can see more of you than you of them. You will have more of an ability to use the room and they will have more of you to see engaging them actively. If you are not comfortable with standing, then sit on the edge of your seat so that your energy has more ability to move through the screen.

2. Let there be happy energy in your voice.
No one wants to be in the presence of unhappy people. If you have a more monotone sound, then you will be projecting a voice that is unhappy. It is better to have vocal variety to project positivity and enthusiasm. As you speak allow for there to be melody in your voice. Even though the camera is right in front of you still project with vocal energy and inflect up when you complete your point rather than down.

3. Make your words crystal clear and easily understood.
The consonant sounds are used to assist you in the clarity of your thoughts. The vowel sounds are used to assist you in expressing your emotions. Because the camera is on you and you are closer than ever to your audience it is very important to project yourself with as much charisma as possible.

4. Apply best practice public speaking skills.
All other principles of great public speaking skills still apply. Tell stories, use logic to help with the clarity of your message, make sure you are taking care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, connect with your viewers through empathy, prepare, be faithful to your style and execute with authenticity and craft.

People are used to seeing you face to face but now technology has created a barrier. We can break that barrier if we allow ourselves to use the tools available to us that create great human interaction. In order to lead, you need people who want to follow. They will follow leaders who can make a connection with them and who can communicate ideas in a way that is easy to understand. Like DNice did as a DJ through social media, we can connect with compassion and move through our phones, computers, and TV screens to uplift our listeners and not only help them cope with challenging times but inspire them with our ideas, visions, and solutions.

Be well and blessed my friends!