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Alfred Poor is an expert in helping speakers and companies create successful online events. His years of experience as a keynote speaker and event producer have led him to become a consultant for those who need to pivot to online communications yet don’t want to either waste time and money on expensive equipment or learn complex technical skills.

In this interview, Alfred explains who he helps and how he helps them. Plus, he gives a simple tip for looking better online when you’re presenting from a laptop.

We also had some fun with props and explaining why you can’t walk around when you’re presenting online.

Below the video, you’ll find a text summary of the interview.

Summary of Alfred’s interview

1. Who do you serve, who are your clients?

I’m looking to help anyone who has to speak for their job, including professional speakers and business speakers speaking internally or externally. It could include trainers, coaches, and entrepreneurs. I can best help people who are past the starting point in their speaking journey.

2. What is their problem, their need and what are the symptoms of that problem?

The big problem is the pandemic. Most speaking gigs were canceled. Events have pivoted to online. I’m helping them to be better online presenters, to be more effective in a virtual setting. Meeting planners now know they don’t have to pay for travel, can get people from all around the world, and save money, so virtual events are here to stay.

3. What are the common mistakes people make or obstacles they face when trying to solve that problem on their own?

A lot of experienced speakers have done really well on stage and then they try the same techniques on the virtual stage and it doesn’t work. In fact most of what speakers have learned is wrong for a virtual setting.

4. What is unique about your solution that helps people avoid those mistakes or overcome those obstacles so they can finally solve their problem?

I can help people with both the mechanical things — lights, cameras, wardrobe — and also the delivery and how you structure your presentation. The key problem is how to keep your audience engaged. Having made most of the mistakes myself, I can help speakers avoid those mistakes.

The techniques that work on stage aren’t necessarily the things that will work on the virtual stage. There are a number of things to learn about how to frame your face, body movement, etc.

5. What is one high-impact free action, such as a tip, that you recommend that the audience can implement that will help them solve that problem?

The first thing to do is to raise your camera so it’s about your eye level or a bit higher. A lot of people use laptops but it’s hard to get the laptop camera high enough. So I recommend getting a stand-alone webcam that you can adjust.

6. What is one valuable free resource that you can direct people to that will further help with that problem?

When the pandemic was shutting down live events, I gave a lot of free webinars to speakers and that has developed into the Speaker Springboard System. So every month on the 4th Thursday of the month, I’m giving a free demonstration of the system. It’s solid information and practical tips. Go to

7. What’s the one question that I should have asked you that would give great value to our audience?

I guess it’s why I know about this stuff. I’ve done a lot of speaking over the years but I also have a strong technology background. I wrote for PC Magazine for over 20 years. I was their Display expert. I understand this from a broader and deeper perspective than many others but I’ve also lived it speaking on stage and online and helped others with it.

Next step…

Check out Alfred’s demonstration of his Speaker Springboard, which is especially for speakers who need to shine online.

How about you?

Leave a comment with your questions or frustrations about speaking online, either your experience speaking yourself or what you’re seeing when others speak.

And please use the social media buttons below to share this interview with your speaker colleagues.

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    3 replies to "Interview with Alfred Poor: Better Online Presentations"

    • Greg Habister

      Great tips! With this pandemic going on too long, we really need to pivot online and do those things mentioned. Thank you!

    • Melissa Gibbs

      For some reason, my voice always cracks when speaking to an audience, even online. Is this normal? What can I do to prevent this from happening?

    • Alfred Poor

      Melissa, I know lots of people whose voices crack when they speak (and not just 14 year old boys, though I remember going through that stage myself!) To some extent, it’s just a part of their charm, their personality, what makes them an individual just as a lopsided nose or dimpled chin might. If it’s not to the point that it’s distracting to the audience, I would just accept it and go with it.

      If it’s bothering you to the point where it’s distracting you, I have a couple suggestions to try. First, your voice may crack because you’re tense. Work at relaxing before you start to speak. A little meditation or breathing exercises might help keep everything loose when you start to speak.

      Another idea would be to rehearse more. I also perform music, and I know that I’m stiff and awkward the first time I try to play a new song. But after I’ve practiced it dozens of times, it becomes familiar and comfortable and I can relax and have fun with it. I find the same thing holds for my speaking engagements.

      If these don’t help, I recommend that you seek out a voice coach who can help you with your breathing and voice control to help reduce the cracking.

      In any case, don’t let this hold you back. Whether you choose to accept it or change it, you can still deliver your message.


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