Public Speaker Resources

On this page, we've compiled all the resources you need to create online talks for Mirthy. 

Browse the frequently asked questions below, read the tips and watch the supplementary videos.

If you would like to sign up to become a Mirthy speaker, you can register for a free Mirthy public speaker account by clicking the button below.

If you want to propose a talk for our online catalogue, please send an email to abbie@mirthy.co.uk outlining the topic of your talk and how you intend to record the presentation.

Any questions on using the technology, feel free to ask!

FAQ

How do I become a Mirthy speaker?

You can sign up for a free account here. We provide a platform for speakers to promote their talks and offer virtual talks through recordings. If you would like to offer a recorded talk for catalogue of online events, please email abbie@mirthy.co.uk .

How do I record and submit a talk?

Please see the advice and explainer videos on this page to explore the options available for recording talks. The most popular methods are PowerPoint 365, Screencast-O-Matic or recorded Zoom presentation. 

Once Mirthy has confirmed we are happy to receive your talk, please record the first 5-10 minutes of your presentation and send it to abbie@mirthy.co.uk using wetransfer.com or by sending a Dropbox link. 

We will then provide feedback on the audio, visuals, presentation and content of the clip and offer recommendations before you record the full 45-50 minute talk. 

After receiving this feedback, please enjoy recording your full talk! 

Once completed, send over the file in the same way, along with 2 paragraphs of text: a 'Talk Description' and 'Speaker bio' for the catalogue page.

We will confirm once we have received and, after checking everything is in order, shall upload onto our catalogue.

You are now a registered Mirthy speaker with an online talk available!

How long should online talks last?

Please try to keep your talks to 45 mins, which is the sweet spot for our online audience. This may be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A if the talk is booked as a Premium booking.

Are there any guidelines for public speakers?

The most important rule is to have fun! Your enthusiasm for the subject should shine through, making it an enjoyable experience for attendees.

However, getting the technical aspects of your talk right is essential for ensuring an enjoyable experience for online viewers. Please read the speakers guidelines here and watch the instructional videos on this page before hitting the record button.

Will you provide feedback on my recorded talk?

We provide feedback on the first 5-10 minute clip you send us. After you've submitted your recorded talk, the team will review it and apply our internal rating system (based on visual, audio, presentation and content). At this stage, we will only get in touch if there is something that needs changing. Note that in some cases you may be asked to redo your recording to ensure the presentation is popular with our audience. 

How do I get bookings?

One of the benefits of being a Mirthy member is that we promote your profile to our partner organisations. However, you'll enjoy even more bookings by actively marketing your own services. Once you've reached out to us about creating an online talk, the best way to encourage enquiries is to contact event secretaries who've booked you for previous events. Offering their members online talks has proven very popular.

Can I connect with other speakers?

Yes, we're keen to create an interactive community at Mirthy by connecting our members. Please visit this page (after you've registered for the Mirthy platform) to participate in our speaker forum. Feel free to ask questions, share your insights and offer help to other users.

We are also starting a monthly workshop for speakers to connect and share their experiences and ideas.

I'm new to public speaking - can I still join?

Of course! We encourage everyone to try public speaking. It’s a genuinely rewarding and confidence-building activity, allowing you to share your knowledge and experience with an eager audience. We are also here to provide you with as much support as necessary, particularly for the first few talks. Our online attendees are generally very receptive and with practice, your public speaking skills will soon improve!

How do I get paid for a talk?

Club organisers book talks either on a basic booking, for which you will receive £25 each time, or premium booking, for which we will contact you to check your availability to provide a Q&A following the talk’s screening. For premium talk bookings, you will receive £75.

Following your talk, we'll send you an invoice template to complete with various details such as your fees and bank details. Once returned, we'll make payment by bank transfer within 7 days. Please reach out to us at hello@mirthy.co.uk if you have any specific requirements.

Are there any copyright guidelines?

Please click on the button below to download a pdf document of Mirthy's copyright guidelines.

Talk Format

Top tips

  • Try to keep your talks to 45-50 minutes. Remember that there may be 10-15 minutes Q&A after the presentation.
  • Feedback from our audience suggests that illustrating your presentation with slides is more popular than a talking head on the camera for the whole recording. Click here for our guide on your first two slides of your talk.
  • The majority of our speakers use PowerPoint 365, which contains the function to record yourself presenting, or Screencast-O-Matic, which also records a screen at the same time as recording using the computer webcam too, allowing you to present a talk. However, if you are choosing not to use presentation slides or want to give more of a performance-style talk, you can film yourself ‘standalone’ using a video camera or computer camera. 
  • Positioning your equipment appropriately, by ensuring the camera or webcam is at eye-level, enhances the production quality of your presentation considerably.
  • Good audio and lighting are ESSENTIAL. To improve audience engagement and reviews, consider using a lapel microphone, which can be purchased for as little as £10-20.

Recording Tips

1.

Preparation

Before you press the ‘Record’ button make sure you are ready to start speaking. With Powerpoint, once you've pressed the Record button, the screen relays 3 2 1 - after that you're ‘live’, so start speaking immediately.

2.

Practice

Before trying to record your whole talk, practice for a few minutes and watch them back - this allows you to acclimatise to speaking to the camera and identify any issues with audio etc, before recording the whole talk.

3.

Framing

This might sound obvious, but always completely fill the frame with your subject. Conversely, don’t waste your frame with a lot of empty space. Move the camera until you're filling the entire frame. In Powerpoint, however you see yourself at the bottom of the screen is how your viewers will see you.

4.

Eye contact

Remember to look into the camera wherever possible, and smile ?

5.

Positioning

If using a laptop to record your video, ensure you put it on a desk or something sturdy (not your lap). Try to ensure the webcam (camera) is as close to eye level as possible and that you aren't sitting too far away from the camera.

6.

Zoom

Digital zooming isn’t good as it reduces the quality of your video. If, say, you are using your phone to record your talk and you want to zoom, move the camera closer instead.

7.

Audio

Good audio is one of the most important factors for a popular online talk, especially for audience members who may have hearing issues.

Unfortunately, many in-built computer microphones aren't up to scratch. The best way to ensure your audio is sufficient is to buy a cheap lapel microphone for £10-20, dramatically improving the production value of your talk.

If using a lapel mic, it must be close enough to your mouth that it picks up sounds clearly but not so close that breathing noise becomes an issue.

Position the mic between 6 and 8 inches away from your mouth as centrally as possible. It's fine to have it slightly off axis.

For the same reason you can move your head a small amount when you talk. Even still, the more central the mic is and the less you move your head, the better the resulting audio.

The best thing to wear is a button down shirt as the microphone can attach through the gaps in the buttons on the centre of the shirt. Failing that, a jacket or blazer with lapels works well.

Round-necked t-shirts, jumpers and other tops that don’t have somewhere low enough for the mic to attach to are best avoided.

Natural fabrics like cotton are less likely to rustle or create unwanted sounds than synthetic fabrics. To test whether or not a garment is suitable, rub two sections against themselves. The less noise, the better.

Click here for an example of a lapel microphone (on Amazon) here. Please read the description pre-purchase to ensure that the microphone is compatible with your computer or camera.

lapel microphone
8.

Lighting

Always ensure you have adequate (and if possible flattering) lighting for your videos.

Your videos will be nicer to watch if you use sunlight, lamps or other light sources to create reflected (and diffuse) light.

However if overhead lights are your only option, that is better than nothing.

9.

Backlighting

Always shoot with the light behind the camera, never behind your subject. You’ll just end up with a bright background and no details in the foreground (see example).

10.

Slide transitioning

For some of the recording tools, such as Powerpoint, as you transition from one slide to another the voice record will stop. Ensure you stop speaking as you move onto a new slide.

11.

On camera

Smile, maintain eye contact with the camera and speak clearly. Try to imagine you're presenting to a live audience, rather than simply reading from your computer screen.

12.

Prompts

If you need prompts and you have notes in your Powerpoint presentation, press the ‘notes’ key when you are in ‘Record’ mode (before you get going with the talk) and a very tiny window pops up just above your presentation graphics and central to the camera. The text is very small (about front 8) but it keeps you looking at the centre of the screen, rather than glancing down or off to the side to glance at written notes.

13.

Format

To keep the viewer’s interest, ensure you have plenty of photos/slides to illustrate what you are saying. Viewers can get bored if you rely on a talking head format, without any slides to accompany what you're saying.

14.

Introduction/ending

Introduce your talk clearly to engage the audience and provide a refresher on what to expect. End your talk by thanking attendees, so the viewers know the presentation is finished. In Powerpoint you should be able to see a small red circle at the top left of your camera screen, which denotes recording is on. When that light goes out recording has stopped.

15.

Editing

When you’re done, we suggest watching it back as you might want to redo one or more slides in the presentation.

16.

Quality

Don’t forget to make your presentation as polished as possible and redo the recording if necessary. This will ensure a popular event and likely repeat bookings.

How to Record Your Talks

Microsoft Powerpoint

In this first video we talk you through how to transform your presentation into a narrated talk or video using Microsoft Powerpoint. 

This video assumes you are using a Windows laptop or PC (not a Mac) and you have access to an in built camera or webcam:

In this second video we talk you through how to transform your presentation into a narrated talk or video using a free online tool called Screencast-o-matic. 

This video assumes you have access to an in built camera or webcam. 

This tool can be used for laptops/PCs (both Windows and Mac), and has some advantages over Powerpoint - for example recordings are continuous during slide transition. 

In this third video we talk you through how to transform your presentation into a narrated talk or video using a free online tool called AceThinker. 

This video assumes you have access to an in built camera or webcam. 

This tool can only be used for laptops/PCs running off Windows (not Mac), and has some advantages over Powerpoint - for example, recordings are continuous during slide transition. 

Quicktime Player

In this fourth video we talk you through how to create a video or your talk using an inbuilt camera or webcam through your Mac computer using Quicktime Player:

Mirthy Tutorials

Tutorial 1: Your first two slides


In our first tutorial Dianne, our Community Manager, will show you how to present the first two slides of your Mirthy Talk. This assumes you are creating your talk in PowerPoint, which is the preferred tool to use.

Tutorial 2: Adding prompt notes


In our second tutorial Dianne, our Community Manager, will show you how to add prompt notes to your slides to aid with recording, and then how to remove them before converting your slides into a video. This assumes you are creating your talk in PowerPoint, which is the preferred tool to use.

Tutorial 3: Editing pictures/images


In our third tutorial Dianne, our Community Manager, will show you how to edit images or pictures used in your PowerPoint slide deck, by removing unnecessary parts of the image (background). This assumes you are creating your talk in PowerPoint, which is the preferred tool to use.

Question and Answer Segment


Speakers may be expected to join a talk for a live question and answer part of your presentation.

In this video we talk you through how to log into your live talk. This assumes Mirthy has emailed you a link to join as a presenter, and you click that link at the time we request.

Forum

In order for speakers to connect on the Mirthy platform, we've created a forum for collaboration and idea exchange.

This is only available to registered speakers. If you're not already a Mirthy member, click here to create your FREE profile.

After registering, click the button below to ask questions, message other members and share your insights.