Introduction to Speaking Online

The internet offers tremendous opportunities to experience presentations that would otherwise be inaccessible. Whether dropping in on a lecture at a far-off university or attending a sold-out TED show, anyone with an internet connection has countless opportunities to join virtual audiences near and far. Speaking online can also be a great way to take your message to a wider audience, indeed, a global audience. Virtual meeting platforms allow teams and classes to work together from far away, and enable a greater sense of presence in online interviews and webinars. 

To communicate effectively online, you’ll need to adjust some of the strategies you would use in person. We’ll cover some of these strategies in the section ahead. You’ll also need some equipment:

  • A laptop, desktop computer, phone, or tablet with a camera that you can use to record your speeches. A webcam may already be built into your device or computer. If not, or if you’d like something with better video quality than your built-in webcam, you can opt for a separate web camera plugged into your device. Another camera option is a stand-alone digital video camera or camcorder. If you go this route, consider also using a tripod.
  • A microphone, which may already be built into your device, computer, camera or it can be a part of a separate headset.
  • An internet connection. You’ll need reliable, high-speed internet service. This is especially crucial if you are speaking in real time to your audience.

Test everything several times before you give your actual speech to make sure your device and software are working. Practice by recording yourself to check that your camera and microphone are working correctly.