Monday, July 13, 2020

Speaking Tips for Authors to Switch from Live to Virtual

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

The live training of the past is now virtual in many cases. It may remain so because of the pandemic, its side effects, and the savings from travel expenses, hotel, and meals. That savings increases attendance. Given the situation, how can we present professional virtual trainings?

First, we offer our clients a stable internet service. 

Are we able to provide them with quality internet service? Perhaps we freeze on the screen and sound garbled. If so, what can we do to compensate for a poor connection? We may have to present our training from a neighbor’s home with better service. If we’re in a rural area, we can go into town and present at a friend’s home or a colleague’s office. We may have to build a relationship with someone in town to do so. 

One of my friends schedules her virtual clients one day a week. She travels into town to a colleague’s office to offer her clients a quality connection.

Second, we provide clear sound.

What kind of a microphone do we have? A purchase of one that costs $1,000 with all the options isn’t necessary. We can look at the Blue Yeti plug and play, the Audio Technica with the swinging/scissor arm and a professional lavalier microphone, or the Samsung Q2u.

We can seek assistance from an electronics specialist or an experienced online trainer. Also, our budget will influence the final purchase. 

Does our headset block out sound and distractions? We don’t need to spend $100-200 on a headset. I have a Logitech that works.

Third, we evaluate our physical background.

Is it professional? We don’t want our clients to see a pile of dirty dishes or laundry. With fewer distractions in the background, clients will hopefully focus their attention on the trainer.

An international trainer friend has a green screen. He also has professional pictures from his travels. He displays them one at a time in front of his green screen as a virtual screen. For example, when he works with a client from Spain, he puts up that virtual screen. The individual client or group delights in memories of his training in their country.

What about children and pets? If children are part of your professional brand and live training, include them. Karen Whiting writes for children and includes recipes and crafts in her books and downloadables on her website resources page. Many of her FB live videos include her grandchildren. They help her demonstrate the breads and crafts children can make. They go with her professional brand and could be part of her live training. 

As we practice for an interview or presentation and prepare props, so does Karen with her grandchildren before her demonstrations. Days before the event, she gets many items ready.

Maybe you must present with your children and pets at home, but they’re not part of your brand. You’re alone without a babysitter. Have a co-facilitator help you. 

Fourth, we ensure good lighting.

If the clients can barely see us, they miss our expressions and gestures. Dim lighting may make them feel like they’re in a dungeon. An overhead light fixture or a nightstand lamp won’t provide sufficient light. Some authors use the small LED ring light on their tablet or laptop. Others use the large ring light on a full-size tripod that folds. 

I have the small ring light that fits on my iPhone on a mini plastic tripod. I also have the large ring light. Sadly, I have broken three mini plastic tripods and won’t buy another one. I have the large ring light on a full-size metal stand, but I dropped the lavalier and media remote and damaged them. 

Include time to check the lighting, especially on a cloudy or rainy day. On a sunny day, we may need to adjust for the glare that comes through the windows.

With everything in place, we can still face a glitch. I learned the hard way to send my PP slides ahead of time to two people on the team. 

In conclusion, to present professional virtual trainings, we:

  • Offer our clients a stable internet service.
  • Provide clear sound.
  • Evaluate our physical background.
  • Ensure good lighting.
What one step will you work on this week?


Yvonne speaks with honesty and humor as she shares her life and struggles through presentations that empower women to find peace, power, and purpose through God’s Word. 

Yvonne’s background as a licensed professional counselor brings a unique perspective into the heart of women. She’s a speaking and writing coach and the owner of Moving from Broken to Beautiful®, LLC. She belongs to the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, the Christian Authors Network, the National Speakers Association, and Toastmasters International.

She celebrates life at the beach, where she walks, builds sand castles, blows bubbles, and dances. 


  1. Perfect timing! I need do do a video recording of a workshop for an upcoming writers’ conference. This is so helpful! Thank you!

    1. That's wonderful, Crystal Bowman. I'm glad I could help you. Let me know how it goes

    2. Crystal Bowman, thank you for your kind words. I'm glad the timing of my article was perfect for your video recording. Let me know how it goes.

  2. Well said Yvonne. Thank you for the clear tips.

    1. Dawn Linton, thanks for your support, and you're welcome.

  3. Replies
    1. Melissa Henderson, you're welcome. You always encourage me. Thank you.

  4. Wonderful advise! Thank you!

    1. Marsha, you're welcome. Thank you for your kind words.

  5. Thank you for the tips. This was great.