While vendors continue to push for greater use of live video in web conferences, the lion's share of conferencing is still audio-only or audio plus visual materials such as slides or documents.
What can you do to be more effective when your audience can't see your face or body language? Here are some quick tips that are easy to implement and have a significant impact on how you are perceived.
GENERAL PRESENTATION TIPS:
1) Use the cleanest line you can. Hardwired connection rather than wireless. No speakerphone. Headset is best. Test it on a call with someone you trust before the interview.
2) Put the microphone at the side of your mouth where the upper and lower lips meet. That gives maximum volume without blowing air into the mike.
3) Speak with greater enthusiasm, energy, and volume than you would normally. Disembodied voices are inherently boring, so you need to overcompensate with a bigger, brighter voice than you would use for natural conversation. You should feel uncomfortable and wonder whether you are sounding like a used car salesman… That’s the right level!
4) Make your statements about the listener, not about the subject. So instead of “The system works like this” say “You can use the system in this way.” The words “you” and “your” should be in constant rotation.
WHEN WORKING WITH A CO-PRESENTER OR INTERVIEWER:
5) Let the other person completely finish a question before starting to answer.
6) Don’t make little “mm-hm” types of confirmation noises while the other person is talking. When you aren’t talking, stay completely silent.
WHEN ANSWERING QUESTIONS:
7) Try to give short answers. You want to deliver each pithy piece of wisdom concisely. If you ramble on for a long time, people lose interest and get frustrated that you are not entertaining more questions.
Thus endeth the short lesson for the day. Go forth and let thy voice be heard!