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Five tips to hold a virtual press conference

By Jada Crespo

Virtual press conferences are great ways to reach your audience safely


Use these tips to make your virtual press conferences shine.The way we communicate is ever-evolving and as technology improves, people are finding more ways to share messages on a broader scale to reach numerous audiences.


One way is through virtual press conferences. 


Virtual press conferences are cost-effective and allow reporters and news outlets to attend safely from the comfort of their homes or offices. 



Here are five tips on how to hold a successful virtual press conference:   


Have a plan and keep it simple 


Screen fatigue is a real issue. 


When conducting a conference, you want to ensure it is engaging and efficient, covering any key messages you wish to address effectively and efficiently. Therefore, it’s always wise to map out the purpose and key takeaways you want your audience to understand. Introduce them in the beginning and offer a recap toward the end to give the audience a better chance at retaining the information you’re providing.  


Although you don’t want to bombard your viewers with too much information, keeping it simple doesn’t mean making it uninteresting.


Make sure you keep text to a minimum and create an engaging presentation. You can get creative on Prezi or Canva. Present with a purpose. 


Check all required devices


Just as you would prepare for an in-person conference, you should do the same tests for virtual meetings. It’s even more important to avoid technical difficulties when you’re presenting virtually!


Make sure to check all required equipment before the recording, such as microphones, internet connection, and the camera. 


There’s nothing worse than virtual technical difficulties. You don’t want to come off as unprepared and waste the audience’s time trying to figure out any problems. 


Be remembered for the valuable information you provide, not your poor technical skills. 


Provide a brief overview and welcome questions


An in-person press conference tends to be easier to follow because the audience is fully present and can ask real-time questions. That’s not always the case virtually.


To keep everyone focused, make sure to provide introductions, a summary of what’s to come, and open the floor to any questions at the end of the initial presentation. Many programs have chat boxes available to make audience communication easier and help decrease confusion and interruptions during the conference. 


In addition, all chatbox questions should be recorded, so viewers can keep track of discussions and won’t forget their questions if they have to wait until the end. 


Any questions that can’t be answered within the conference should be recorded and reviewed to provide answers afterward.  


Factor in a grace period  


Press conferences don’t always go exactly as planned, and it can be easy to get lost in a thought-provoking discussion. Therefore, be sure to allocate a little extra time in the conference and inform the viewers of this time slot. 


If the viewer can expect a more extended discussion, they can prepare to set aside more time, and it will be far better than the audience feeling misled and leaving the conference early or staying longer than intended and hoping the meeting would be more “in and out.”


Provide access to supporting information 


Link documents to your conference with a summary of the discussion, supporting information, and some quotable highlights to further explain the information and use the provided materials for future reference. 


Providing easily accessible information will please your audience by taking away the hard work of searching for specific information and making it easier for your content to be shared. Ensure all your resources are available, including any additional parties involved. 


Offering a recording or video minutes allows absent event attendees to access your content and open the conversion to the public who may find your conversation helpful.


For additional help with speaking engagements, virtual appearances, and drafting messages to maximize your positive exposure, view Axia’s KeyNote services


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Jada Crespo is a summer intern at Axia Public Relations. Jada studies at the University of Florida, majoring in public relations and minoring in event management. She loves impromptu adventures with friends and having a good laugh with her family.   


Featured image credit: on Unsplash

Topics: news media, press conferences

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