How to re-create or mirror ‘the back of the room’ experience.

Today, many of us are presenting talks via Zoom.  While it is easy to share one’s PowerPoint and expertise, it is not always easy to connect with the audience.  Many speakers are finding it difficult to mirror the experience of connecting one on one with members of the audience. 

It is easy to connect with the audience when one has a table in the back of the room.  It is easy to engage with those who visit your table, who voluntarily sign up for your newsletter list or purchase a copy of your book.

Connecting with the audience when you are the guest speaker at a virtual meeting has its challenges, however, it can be done.

What can one do?

Check in with the Facilitator.  Find out what you can and cannot do.  Confirm the guidelines. Some encourage lots of engagement.  Others not so much.  Some prefer to share your offer – how to connect with you further- with their follow up.

Know the guidelines for connecting with your audience and know what is appropriate for your audience.  Offering door prizes may not be appropriate for all speaking situations.

If virtual networking is available prior to your talk, attend.  Interact and do your best to get to know the attendees.  Take notes.  If appropriate, personalize some of your content to the attendees.

Click on the list of Participants.  Familiarize yourself with who is in the room.  Use “The Chat” to engage with the attendees.

The Chat contains a wealth of information.  Sharing one’s contact information and other resources is a wonderful way to connect with others.  Be sure to save The Chat before leaving the meeting.  Either copy and paste or click on the three dots located to the right of the word, ‘Everyone.’  When you click on the 3 dots, The Chat will automatically be saved to a folder located on your computer or laptop.

Interact with your audience.  Offer something fun.  Let your audience know you have a special gift just for them.  Mention it more than once.  Include how to receive it with your PowerPoint slides.

Engage with the audience.  Ask questions.  Ask them to post their answers in The Chat.  If appropriate, offer door prizes.  The first 3 people who reply will receive a copy of my book. 

If your topic is deep or heavy, do your best to keep your talk light and fun.  Always stay on topic and be sure your content is appropriate and relevant to your audience. 

Let the audience know how much you appreciate being able to share with them today.  Let them know how they can connect with you.  Create a slide with your contact information including how to connect with you on social media. Post your contact information in The Chat. Male it easy for someone to reach you.

Include a PowerPoint slide that tells how one can get their gift.  I have a special gift for you today.  Go to _____ and download your free copy of my E-Book, Personal Guide to ____, or Top 10 Tips.  Be sure the gift is relevant and appropriate to your audience.

When appropriate, invite the attendees to an event you are hosting.  “I am hosting a free virtual Vison Board party.   To receive an invitation, post your contact info in The Chat or email me at _____.”

Most Facilitators do not share the RSVP List.  Most will send a follow-up communication thanking one for attending and you for speaking.  Ask the Facilitator to let their list know how much you appreciate being able to share with them.  Include how to access your gift, a copy of your slides, and your contact info.   

“Hello, it was great meeting you today. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with you.  I trust you will find these strategies to increase ____ helpful.  As mentioned, I am giving everyone a copy of my E-book.  Go to and download your free copy of insert book title today.”

With a little effort one can mirror the experience of engaging with attendees of an in-person talk.  I trust you found these tips on How to Connect with your Virtual Audience helpful. 

Know that not every tip is appropriate for every speaking situation.  Know the guidelines prior to your talk. 

The more you engage and interact with your audience, the easier it will be to mirror the experience of speaking in person.

Remember, when used appropriately, The Chat might become your new best friend.