Speeches on Zoom

It’s March 2022, almost two years of Zoom Toastmaster meetings.  And right now it’s contest season.  Whether you are doing a speech just because or entering a contest, here are a couple of tips.

Update your Zoom software (it’s free)

One reason for updating is if the Zoom Host asks you to use a new Zoom function, you will be able to do it.

Make sure you are not backlit; which is having a window or bright light behind you.  Being backlit can make your face worthy of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but not good for a speech.  If you’re backlit, we won’t be able to see your face clearly.  Have a light in front of you (or behind your computer camera).  “Ring Lights” can be obtained for under $20 (or a lot more), and with all their settings, they will help you look natural.

If you practice your speech in your office, deliver it from your office.  If you practice it from your home, deliver it from your home.  If you practice it on an iPad, deliver it on an iPad.  When it is time to deliver your speech (contest or regular), it is not the time to switch locations or devices.

What time (approximately) will you be delivering your speech.  Practice it on a different day, but near that same time.  A window giving you great light on your face might be fine in the morning, but the lacking of light may be detrimental in the evening.  Or vice versa.

Make a list of all the things that can make a noise in your home.  Dog barking, doorbell, telephone(s), kids, TV, security system, etc.  When it is time for your speech, look at the list.  How many can you silence, so as not to be disturbed when it is your speech time.  I’ve seen a speech get drowned out by a firetruck siren.  No, you can’t turn that off beforehand.  But I’ve also seen a speech get drowned out by a person’s phone, and that could have been prevented.

And one non-tech pointer.  Do you have trouble remembering all the points of your speech?  Are there any key areas in it, that cause you to stumble?  Have some brief notes, near the bottom of your water bottle.  If you need your notes during your speech, get a quick drink while glancing at your bottle/notes, and this can put you back on track…

Harvey Taphorn, DTM
D42 Tech Team

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