What Makes a Great Virtual Keynote Speaker?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, keynote speakers need to adapt to continue delivering their service to the public. Offline or face-to-face events are being postponed or canceled all over the world. Some businesses or companies have already successfully transitioned while some are still struggling to do so. Jerome Joseph is here to help you transition to the virtual world smoothly.

If you’re a keynote speaker and you’re booked for a virtual event in the near future, you should know what makes a great virtual keynote speaker. You might think that it’s going to be simple given your experience offline, but let me tell you right now – it’s going to be different – some things will have to change.

Even though you might have experience speaking in front of hundreds of people about social media, marketing, or whatever it was you were invited for, chances are that you might not have the experience when it comes to virtual events. Jerome Joseph is here to help you transition from being a keynote speaker to a great virtual keynote speaker.

Follow this guide and you’ll eventually see yourself become a much better speaker online and offline.

There are 3 major things that you’ll have to work on when it comes to virtual events: Preparation, Performance, and Post-event.


As with a lot of things, nothing beats a person that’s well-prepared – the same goes for virtual events. You can’t just turn on your camera and “wing it”, a certain level of preparation must be done to deliver a phenomenal talk on your virtual event. The amount of preparation that you do for each event will also reflect your dedication towards your craft. These are also the preparations that Jerome Joseph makes for every virtual event.

What preparations can you do for your virtual event?

1. Acknowledge that online and offline events are very different – someone might prepare the stage, the audio, and the visual presentation for you when you speak offline; that’s not the case online. A great virtual keynote speaker would prepare for the event’s schedule and the Q&A session if there is one.

2. Prepare your voice – your voice is going to be the most crucial part when you are speaking to your audience. Make your that your voice is appealing, strong, and people can understand the words you’re saying. Make sure that your voice is engaging as there are a lot of distractions online, you don’t want your listeners to use you as their background noise as they do something else.

3. Prepare your technical resources – make sure that your lights, camera, microphone, and computer/laptop are in working order.

4. Check what’s behind you – make sure your background is appropriate for the presentation itself, if there is a theme, you might want to follow it. Make sure that there’s nothing distracting or disturbing visible on your end. It would also help if you tell your family that you’re going to have a presentation to keep them from walking and being seen in the background.

5. Practice – practice your piece. If you have to ask some of your family members to listen, do that. Ask them for feedback and work on improving your part. No good virtual keynote speaker can go through a virtual event without practicing.

6. Learn about your audience – it would help if you can make a way to frame your piece in such a way that your audience would easily understand it. Talking to accountants? Consider using metaphors and symbols related to that.


At this point, you should already be prepared logistically, physically, and mentally. During your performance, try to avoid as many mistakes or troubling obstacles as you can. A great virtual keynote speaker can keep their audience engaged and entertained to some degree. Jerome Joseph has some tips to help with that:

1. Maintain high energy – when you are energized and full of energy, your audience will likely reciprocate. Exercising or having a fresh cup of coffee before presenting might be a great idea.

2. Speak with passion – it’s better to connect with your audience, one way to do that is to talk with passion or emotion. There is a reason they invited someone to talk, instead of just giving handouts.

3. Be professional – get dressed for the virtual event. As a virtual keynote speaker, wear what you would at an offline event.

4. Be authentic – tell your audience what to expect. Just be yourself. People can definitely tell if you’re trying hard to be someone you’re not.

5. Cut your presentation in half – value your audience’s time. Keep your presentation straightforward so as not to lose their attention.

6. Don’t stray away from your key message – make sure that you won’t get easily distracted and start talking about something far from your main topic.

7. Summarize your presentation – always do a recap before you end your presentation to reemphasize key points.


After the virtual event, there are some things that you have to do to have a great and fruitful closing. Here are some of the things a great virtual keynote speaker can do after the talk:

1. Take a break – take a deep breath, rest your shoulders, lie down if you have to, just relax overall. Acknowledge that the speech is over and you’ve successfully done it. You did a great job.

2. Ask your audience for feedback – if you could, it would be really beneficial for you to hear feedback from the receiving end of your speech. Your audience’s feedback can definitely help you improve your performance over time. They can tell you exactly what they learned, or what is missing from your presentation.

3. Try to entertain questions – when you ask your audience for feedback, some of them might have questions for you regarding your presentation. If that’s the case, be prepared to answer those questions. If you can answer them professionally and correctly, they’ll trust you more and will likely invite you for their next virtual event.

If you need any more assistance, Jerome Joseph is here to help you.