Adapting In-Person Skills to the Virtual Environment


Techniques for Advanced Presenters


The first advanced skill to adapt is…

Eye Contact


Virtual Environment



“Kimberli, eye contact is hard enough for me in person.  How in the world do I achieve eye contact in a virtual meeting?”




Step 1:  Confirm you have access to a webcam.  (Internal or External)


Step 2:  If you have questions about Step 1 I cannot help you further, call tech support.


Step 3:  Turn your webcam  “On” via your computer and/or your virtual platform.  Most platforms allow you to engage “Video” in one form or another after you enter the meeting.


Step 4:  Look directly in to the camera when you are speaking.  I know this is hard because you want to look at the Participant Panel, Chat Box, Q&A log, etc.


Step 4a: If you have an external webcam test the placement. You can attach the camera to your computer in such a way that makes your audience think you are looking directly at them!  Try attaching the webcam next to the Participant Panel if you are able (there are different terms for “Participant Panel” in different platforms). This placement allows you to speak directly to the camera while monitoring the other panels at the same time.


Step 5:  If video is simply not an option but you are using a slide deck, embed a photo of yourself and/or the presenter on the first or second slide of the slide deck.  A photo of you making eye contact is better than nothing at all.


Step 6:  If none of the options above are available, consider sending a professional photo via text to the people you are meeting with. We applied this last week with WhatsApp and it worked great!


Step 7:  If nothing else works, connect on a professional platform such as LinkedIn ahead of time so you know what the other person looks like. Seeing someone else’s face helps form bonds of trust.


Step 8:  Practice, Practice, Practice!!!


Human, in-person interaction is what most of us seek by nature.  However, with our new business landscape due to COVID-19, quarantines and social distancing we must be diligent in honing our leadership skills to maximize efficiency within the virtual workforce.  Virtual eye contact is one of many ways to efficiently build trust.


If you need help transitioning your team to the virtual environment, please reach out to info@everythingwebinar to schedule a FREE Needs Assessment to further explore your training options, or follow us at:






About the author: Kimberli Allen

About the author: Kimberli Allen

Kimberli Allen, Principal and Founder of Everything Webinar, LLC, is an international communication and presentation skills expert. She has acquired 20+ years experience as a corporate trainer, coach and entrepreneur (both virtual and in-person). Kimberli has designed numerous customized training programs, worked with such clients as Nike, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, and TAB Products, and personally coached thousands of clients in more than 32 countries. When Kimberli is not leading a training program or launching new products to enhance communication and presentation skills around the globe, you can find her competing in a duathlon or triathlon with her two daughters.