• Natural daylight is best, if possible sit facing a window. If the sun is too bright, pull down the window shade to diffuse it
  • A softened, diffused lamp (lampshades do the trick) placed at a 45° angle in front of you, will eliminate most shadows on your face


  • Choose attire that you would wear if you were attending an in-person conference
  • Plain-colored shirts and pants/skirts are optimal; patterns or stripes may not display well on remote sites
  • Avoid wearing a colour similar to your background.


  • Pick your presentation spot carefully, where you will not be interrupted
  • Check what’s visible in your camera background before you start. You may choose to remove personal photos. If you have a company banner, display it behind you.
  • Explore Zoom setup options. Select ‘Settings’ and consider using a virtual background, or ‘Touch up my appearance’ under ‘Video’


  • When you are not speaking, remember to mute yourself
  • Test your audio first to make sure the sound is clear
  • Speak slowly and clearly. It’s much more difficult for participants to process speech over a virtual presentation, where it’s harder to watch the presenter’s face for vocal and body language cues.
  • Zoom has a feature to cancel background noises from your microphone
  • Use a pair of wired ear buds (if not using an external high quality microphone) which tends to give the best clarity when speaking

Hints for better presentations

  • Close unnecessary open applications and windows to avoid distractions
  • Put your camera at eye level (use a stand, or stack of books if you are using a laptop camera)
  • If you look directly at your camera while speaking, your attendees will feel much more included in the conversation. Position the ‘active speaker’ window on your screen directly under the camera so that it is natural for your eyes to be looking towards the camera
  • Stick a post-it right below or next to your webcam with notes pertinent to the presentation. If you take a peek, you will still be looking somewhat directly at your audience.
  • Practice and time your presentation; try not to memorize the talk as it may not sound natural.
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