Providing a speaker instruction manual is an excellent method of helping your speakers while also helping your virtual event run smoothly. The instruction manual should include:
- simple instructions on navigating your event platform: how to register as a speaker, create a profile, upload materials, and use any built-in tools available. Be sure the speaker has contact information for people in your organization who are there to provide help as needed;
- an event program that gives details of the agenda, such as when each presentation will start, how long each one will last, and who will be moderating. Describe the format – will it have a q&a session?, a panel?, etc.;
- how to deliver the content of their presentation effectively. If they have a slideshow or prerecorded presentation or clip, explain where and when to upload files. Provide information on design guidelines, such as fonts, colors, number of slides – or design a slideshow template to include;
- a list of the technical equipment that the speakers will need – such as a laptop, webcam, and reliable internet that can handle high-quality video. Explain how to test everything in advance. You can also explain best practices for setting up equipment, such as using an external mic instead of a built-in laptop mic for optimal quality; positioning the webcam so it’s slightly above eye level and directly in front of the speaker; and, using ample natural light and making sure lights are above or in front of the speaker, not behind;
- for the best possible presentation, review the speakers’ background setting, lighting, positioning of any conference signage provided or required backdrop, and dress code if required. For example, wearing green in front of a green screen will cause you to disappear into digital backgrounds, and very busy clothing – such as small stripes – can produce strange visual effects;
- show the speakers how to enable and interact with chat functionality, such as quizzes and polls, and any other methods of audience engagement that are provided; and,
- remind them to practice beforehand.