Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Public Speaking

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Public Speaking

Coronavirus concerns are impacting my clients internationally and domestically. Events are being cancelled. The speakers themselves are choosing not to attend. Audiences don’t want to show up.

It looks dire, but we aren’t here to stoke conspiracy theories, blame, or any other such nonsense. Whatever you think about all of that isn’t relevant if you are a public speaker — whether that’s your job, or you are a leader who only gives one speech a year. If you’ve been planning to give a talk and now everything is awry, you need a game plan.

I get it. And I can help. All is not lost.

I’m not a doctor. I don’t know what to make of COVID-19 anymore than you do. I do know that the impact on the public speaking world is real, and you have decisions to make. If you need official COVID-19 information, go to the World Health Organization‘s website.

Consider doing a video speech. You’ve two options. One is prerecorded and the other is a live feed.

Prerecorded Speeches

With prerecorded speeches, you can do several takes to get it right. Good lighting. Good sound. Get your delivery just so. Edit in images.

The downside of a prerecorded speech is that it takes time to produce and deliver an HQ file to the event. That’s manageable if you’ve an AV staff which knows its stuff and you’ve some advance notice.

Live Feed Speeches

Doing a live feed is much like doing it in person. It’ll be fresh. You can make edits to reflect the day’s news. Total production time is minimal.

The downside of a live feed is you’ll need to work tightly with the event producer to ensure you are giving them the quality you need, without lags or delays.

In either case, you can control the production on your side. You choose the venue to meet your personality and needs. Use this to your advantage. While you’ll still have parameters guiding your options, this flexibility gives you creative choices worth considering.

Both options can allow the audience member to watch at his desk, or at home, on his phone… anywhere. Sure, it will lack the je ne sais quoi a live, in person stage experience offers. This isn’t about what’s perfect. This is about what can work when things hit the fan organizationally.

Be patient with event organizers. They are muddling through solutions as best they can. Like you, like me, they are sorting though the histrionic panicking from the head-in-sand response. And, like us, it doesn’t matter what they think: audiences and other speakers are responding.

Talk to organizers, and to your tech team. Find out if you’ve the option.

Give us a call if we can help. Contact us now to discuss ideas and some of the distinctions from a script perspective.