5 Minutes On: Tips For Speaking At Online Events

by | Sep 11, 2020

3 tips for speaking, especially at online events!

Tips for speaking transcribed by Otter.ai

Hello, it’s Katrina Collier. And I just thought I’d share some speaking tips this week or this week today, Friday. Can you tell it’s Friday already, I’ve fluffed already. I’ve had quite the week of speaking at events, I had a pre-record to do for an event that’s coming up in a few weeks, I had the virtual reality summit where I had to wear this thing, and therefore not be able to use any notes through a whole panel discussion with Tangie Pettis at the Virtual Reality Global HR Summit, which was amazing, don’t get me wrong, but had its challenges. Particularly with the Labrador sitting at my feet panting. And then last night, I had the great pleasure of being with Sarah Goldberg at the #HRTX Hard Core Sourcing event, where we had WiFi issues and we’re doing presentations live and the pages aren’t loading and all this sort of stuff.

So I also, I just realized I have the wrong branding going on here. Let’s switch over can you tell I was on the show yesterday. And actually on the show yesterday, we were talking about diversity and inclusion at panels and things like that so actually quite relevant that I did have that up there for a minute.

Anyway, what I wanted to share for those of you who are new speakers who perhaps are being asked to pre-recorded presentations, or do your first-ever live presentation, is just some of the things to think about when you go into those because it is really quite nerve-wracking, I can assure you that when I had this on my face, and I couldn’t look at notes, and I had to be really aware of where my hands were, as well, because any gestures I made were all showing, it was quite nerve-wracking. So I feel for you, I still get what it’s like.

So, some of the tips I have for you is, aim your energy really high. When I’m doing these I’m talking much louder, and I’m being more exaggerated than I am normally, and then it comes across as just we’re having a conversation we’re having a private normal conversation. Don’t talk in a monotone don’t talk at this level, really aim at the ceiling, give it all your all over exaggerate, and it will just come across as normal. It’s quite surprising.

If you’re struggling to do that, believe it or not, if you jump up and down first and then sit down. Your energy will have been raised already. Try and think lovely thoughts. Try and feel excited about what you’re presenting. Actually, on that, I wasn’t going to give this tip, but I think we’ve got just enough time. I, particularly when I was running DisruptHR, would be asked by people, “what do you want me to talk about?” No, you tell people what you want to talk about. Make sure it’s a subject that you really feel a lot about. Otherwise, it’s going to come across as flat. So I’ve written that, aim energy at the ceiling.

If you fluff up, that’s okay. I had the wrong branding on the screen there before. That’s okay. You don’t mind, do you? While you’re listening that I had the wrong branding. I’ve changed over to you know, the most important one of course, which is the Mastermind coming up. Doesn’t matter, if you fluff that’s okay! If you were live on stage, you would fluff. I have literally had slides come up on the screen and I’ve gone, “I have no idea why I put this in there” I’d gone completely blank. It happens. And that’s okay. So, if you’re doing a pre-record and you um and you ah and you think it’s not good, don’t worry, okay, it’s okay to make a mistake.

And Event Organizers, please be aware I am talking to people who are saying they are pre-recording up to 16 times!! I’ve been doing this for six, seven years, I can pre-record in one go because I don’t care if I fluff in the middle, I just correct myself and move on. But can you imagine your new speaker, they need a lot of support. They’re getting exhausted doing that, they’re going to get flatter and flatter as they go through. So something to think about.

And the big one, whether you speak on stage or you’re doing this on a pre-record, watch yourself back. Even this week, by watching myself back I’ve realized I say so all the time. I used to say, okay all the time, which is quite patronising. Now I say so. So it’s quite funny watching this reading the script back. So, do watch yourself back because you will discover things that you want to improve. A lot of people hate doing it but honestly, it’s the only way you’ll improve. Feedback forms tend to say you were brilliant or you were dreadful, and they’re of absolutely no use to you. But if you watch yourself back you’ll go, ‘Hmm don’t like that I’m doing that’. So the next time I’m going to set myself a challenge not to do that.

So that’s my advice for you. If you are doing a pre-record and you’re getting exhausted, maybe stop try and to do it at another time but you’ve got to aim that energy at the ceiling, jump up and down if you need to. That will definitely help. I’ve got a couple of comments from Ryan and Louise on the side they’re distracting me in my five minutes. So jump up and down, aim your energy high, if you fluffed that’s okay, you’d do that live anyway and watch yourself back as that’s the best way to learn. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I shall be back with another five minutes soon, I’m sure.

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