• Lucy Norris

My Life As A Virtual Presenter

When I said goodbye to NYC I always knew that it would mean saying farewell to some of my favourite clients, jobs and contracts. I had spent 15 years building up my network, and I had been very lucky regarding the opportunities that came my way. I was moving back to the UK, and the idea of me commuting for certain opportunities was just not realistic or sustainable. I would just need to find new projects.

I would however, miss moments like the ones I had with L'oreal, presenting on stage in front of hundreds of people. Or those times where I got to travel around the country for the United Nations and The Conscious Fashion Campaign, building digital studios and live streaming content across the globe. And the red carpet appearances for the global fashion summit, Fashinnovation, that really had been a highlight in my presenting career.

Unbeknownst to me my days as a presenter may have come to an end the way I knew them, but my days as a virtual presenter were only just beginning.

2020 changed our world forever. In so many different ways. Most certainly in the way we communicate and engage with each other. Everything is virtual. You may not class yourself as a virtual presenter, but I can guarantee that you are somehow starting to adopt and practice skills as a virtual presenter; on Zoom, in a Microsoft hangout or even on a video conference.... we are all presenting virtually in some shape or form.

There have been a variety of projects that arose throughout Lockdown that have taught me knew skills as a presenter that I believe we can all take something from.

Budget is on everyones mind, and of course, when it comes to branding and marketing, we all have to be a little thrifty with how we sell. I decided to create a campaign for our agency, Ecrubox Digital, to showcase the trends, insight and latest data in the world of e-commerce. Producing a concept in the midst of a pandemic meant that I was doing to have to do it on a budget...and the only way I knew how to communicate all of our findings was through content. So I produced a series via Zoom whereby I interviewed worldwide leaders, CEO's and decision makers, all of whom I had never met in person.

What did I learn?

  • Instead of physically interviewing a guest, everyone is remote which means that you need to bring everyone together through eye contact. When you are on camera, make sure you look at the camera, as that is where your audiences’ eyes would be. Eye contact can be achieved through the screen too.

  • Talk with your hands, even if you’re not streaming video. This will help you feel like you’re on the big stage – adding gestures to your speech helps your keep your rhythm and flow, keeping that audience tuned in.

  • And finally, we don’t want any misunderstandings – make sure you speak clearly, enunciating your words. Make it as easy as possible for your audience and guest to get to grips with all of your key messages.

You may be filming via zoom, but the quality of the content is everything. Be prepared, be present and do your homework. Make the interview look as professional as possible. Creating content for marketing purposes is a great way to build out relationships in the virtual world both with other brands and your community.

I even decided to continue building a show called, "Do Well Do Good" on Zoom. I had spent a lot of time and energy producing the show in NYC and realised I could continue the conversations via Zoom. But a few things were necessary if the show would lack b-roll and scenery...

  • Content needed to be full of life with physicality. Guests needed to offer demos, or animated stories to bring colour to the episodes.

  • Questions needed to be specific and niche to keep audiences interested.

And finally, it seems as thought my days hosting red carpets, are not over just yet. They are just now virtual.

I have been fortunate to be involved with the global summit, Fashinnovation for the last three years. I hosted all of their red carpets physically and now I've had the unusual pleasure of hosting the event in my living room. All very strange, but extremely successful as I hosted the virtual blue carpet with celebrity guests worldwide.

What did I learn?

The challenging part about live streaming an event is that you are literally doing it all. You are producer, host and publicist as you set up the interview, film it and prep for the next guest. If you are setting yourself to host a major event in your living room, a few things I would recommend...

  • Dress as though you are really there. This has a huge impact on the way your body acts and your voice carries. Overall your energy is very different when you are sat hosting in a dress and heels, compared to jeans and trainers.

  • Do your homework

  • Be as proud of these virtual events, as you would be a physical one and remember to promote, share and re share. The virtual events need eyes on them in order to continue.

  • Add a bright light and a microphone and already you have elevated your content x100 Sound and light is everything!

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