3 Tips for virtual presenters from Adele’s One Night Only TV special

We recorded and watched the CBS TV special Adele One Night Only that was broadcast on Sunday November 14, 2021. I was struck by the production and how well done it was. As I considered the show after it was finished, I realized business professionals who present virtually on Teams, Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, and other platforms can take away three tips that will help them in their presentations.

Match production to the situation

The production during the concert was truly incredible. The lighting, setup, camera angles to catch the spectacular setting and even helicopter cameras! They did all that because it was being recorded for a highly anticipated TV special. When you go to an Adele stadium show, as we have, the production is good, but it uses the standard equipment that is readily available. They have to move the show every few days and need to be able to easily replace something if it fails.

As a virtual presenter you have likely seen the fancy setups that some professional keynote speakers post on social media. They have multiple cameras, switchers, fancy microphones and some even have in-room producers. They give the impression that you need all that equipment to do a good virtual presentation.

Don’t buy into that trap. If you are a typical business presenter, your situation is more like a standard stadium show. You make the best use of the standard equipment you have: your laptop, a webcam, and an external screen. You can learn how to make the most of what you have to still deliver a high quality presentation.

Have realistic expectations

The concert was recorded in late October and then edited to create the special that aired on TV on November 14. Editing can make it look flawless. If you go to one of Adele’s live shows, it is not perfect. Things happen and she rolls with it. She has a great sense of humor so she makes it funny and takes it all in stride.

All of our business presentations are live. Things will go wrong. That’s the way it is for everyone. Don’t think you need to be flawless when presenting virtually. Yes, you should develop pre-presentation routines to minimize issues that could happen and you should know how to handle issues that can come up. You should be prepared but don’t expect to be perfect.

The money is in the regular shows

This fancy TV special was done to launch Adele’s new album and reintroduce her since she has been away for a number of years. The special will contribute to some album sales but it won’t be that much of an impact because most people play music through a streaming service instead of buying a CD. The music industry has changed dramatically and album sales or streaming revenue is a small part of the overall picture. Most of the money is made in live shows and events. The artists and their band and crew rehearse for months before a tour or event.

It is the same in business. One fancy launch event, either live or a webinar, is nice, but that’s not where the real money is made. The real money comes from the presentations given every day to prospects, clients, and stakeholders. Focus on fine tuning your process and your presentations that are given every day and you will benefit the bottom line much more.

By Dave Paradi

Dave Paradi has over twenty-two years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written ten books and over 600 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don't overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams communities. His articles and videos on virtual presenting have been viewed over 1.2 million times and liked over 12,000 times on YouTube.