How to enable new speakers in a global pandemic world


A year ago I wrote an article: Presentation skills Brown Bag in a virtual world – Sterlings (

Which was inspired by brown bags I used to deliver at Microsoft (10 Techniques to help you present better – Sterlings (

Which lead one of our MVP leads in the APAC region ask me:

How do you enable new speakers…particularly in a virtual world?


My pre-Covid answer would have been:

  1. Partner with these would be speakers (co presenting)
  2. Pick a topic that sets them up to succeed
  3. Explain how they fit into the overall presentation
  4. Scope their delivery to something small (i.e. a demo) BUT ensure you have the flexibility to allow them continue if needed.

Which begs the question….how do you translate this to a virtual setting?

…With some orthogonal thinking, small tweaks and minor additions…

Amending my virtual world presentations skills suggestion list below with those enhancements:



  • Share the stage

    • Bring a friend!

    Lisa Crosbie
    to share how you or your co-presenter can help with the presentation chat/hands etc

    • Additional techniques to enable sharing the stage w/ a friend (Chuck to cover)

      • “Time master”

      • “Code Line Count Master”

  • Be the story

    • Screen Share/multiple monitors is your friend by Lisa Crosbie
    • Blur Background and or Use Stock Background (Power Points rule of three++) (by Chuck)
    • Prerecord your Demo! By Lisa Crosbie

  • Engage your audience

    • Audience Size shouldn’t control your “voice”
    • Physical Activity > Now becomes Camera Framing
    • Eye Contact Activity would use erasers in the room > Post its behind the screen

  • LOUDER equals better

    • Mute your audience

  • Emphasize appropriately

    • Voting (Also a great engagement technique!)





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s