How do I deliver a powerful physical stage presence?

Following are best practices on physical presence and awareness of your surroundings while doing a virtual pitch, covered in a Zoom training session, led by Michael Chad Hoeppner of GK Communications and hosted by NYU Tandon School’s Data Future Lab, on how to communicate effectively while pitching remotely.

  • Stand instead of sit. Standing ensures you maintain great posture. It also prevents your diaphragm from crunching and therefore requires less energy to speak.
  • Look directly at the camera. Put something next to your computer’s camera to remind you of this so that you do not appear to be reading a script or your slides. 
  • Over communicate what you’re doing during the call. You’re likely going to take notes about the feedback you’re getting, but no one on a video call can see that pad of paper next to you. So instead, they’ll assume you’re texting, or getting bored, or something else! Over communicate so others can’t make their own assumptions about what you’re doing.
  • Lighting is important. Natural light coming at you from the front is most ideal.
  • What’s in your shot? Be aware of what’s in your camera’s line of site. Take a screenshot of yourself when you are doing a dry run, and review what needs to be moved.


Carly Chase, Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management; Managing Director, New York City Startup Studio, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

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