The following is an excerpt from the Presenter Toolkit: Creating and Facilitating an Accessible Presentation by Rebecca Shortt. The Presenter Toolkit was created to support presenters in creating accessible and inclusive online and in-person presentations.
- Avoid sitting with your back to a major source of light. Your light source should be in front of you, but not directly in your face. Consider all your sources of light, and test your lighting ahead of time.
- Be mindful of what is in your background, remove any items you do not want seen by the audience.
- Wear a shirt that is a different colour from your background.
- You can add a custom background, although live backgrounds are preferred.
- When presenting, choose a position that is most natural for you, whether that be standing or sitting.
- Ensure that the camera or webcam is positioned with a clear view of your face.
- Clean the camera or webcam lens.
- Prepare for hiccups, sound failure, power outages, etc. Use a hard-wired microphone and headphones, rather than ones that rely on Bluetooth.
- Use props.
- Tell a story.
- Be yourself: if you’re funny, be funny.
- Put the same effort into your presentation that you would on stage.
- Write a script or go freestyle — do what makes you the most comfortable.
- Visualize and checklist your session. Are all your pieces in place?
- Consider: do you normally stand or sit when presenting? Standing will give you more movement and energy. Just make sure that the camera is set correctly.
- If (when) tech fails, use humour, as hiccups are inevitable.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Devices and Connectivity
- Hard-wire your devices, if possible.
- Close all unnecessary windows and tabs that may take up precious bandwidth and processing power.
- If your computer is overheating, shut it down and let it cool off before starting it up again.
- Unplug extraneous smart devices, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, smartwatches, etc.
- Video games that require internet access should be turned off or played offline.
- If you have a security system that requires a lot of internet bandwidth, you might want to consider upgrading your internet plan or getting a separate connection.
Here are some more resources to help create an accessible and inclusive presentation:
- BCcampus Accessibility Toolkit
- Inclusive Design Guide
- Webinar: Inclusive Design
- Webinar: Inaccessibility
- Interacting with People with Disabilities