How to deliver POWERFUL messages on video

6 mins read
Five pro tips on presenting better on video. Ideal for your ZOOM fundraisers and campaign events.

Use these five expert tips to make a bigger impact in your online presentations. They have nothing to do with the lighting or the quality of your microphone. It’s all about how you come across to your audience. These skills are more especially important with so much campaigning, fund raising, and volunteer recruitment taking place online.

Professional artists learn and practice these skills. Upcoming artist, Olivia Florentino (aka OFLO) explains how to make powerful presentations in five easy steps in this six minute video.

We’ll also review UDEMY, a free online platform that DemLabs has hosted this course on. Udemy delivers video based training and lets you ask questions, control access to training and monitor students progress through the course. It’s ideal for campaigns and non-profits with geographically dispersed workers who need to take the training but at a time convenient for them.

Learn how to keep viewers engaged

Communication is about keeping viewers engaged and interested in your message. This is harder online because there are more distractions and viewers don’t have to provide their undivided attention like they would in person. The five key essential ingredients are: Appear genuine by using eye contact and smiling at the audience. Use voice, tone, tempo and gestures for emphasis. And make your calls to action more persuasive. Let’s look at the video and then analyze each step.

Eye contact.

It’s important to address your audience by looking at the camera, not at the computer screen. It may seem uncomfortable, but when you look at your camera, pretend you are looking into an audience member’s eyes, and pay attention to your eye contact as much as you would in a person-to-person conversation.


Smiling while talking to a virtual audience makes the message you are delivering come off as genuine and important. Small things like a raised eyebrow or a head tilt helps engage the audience and makes them feel passionate about the message you are delivering. Remember not to force a smile, relax and make it natural.

Adjust your tempo.

Talking in the same tempo and tone throughout the entire presentation will not only bore viewers, it will make them feel less engaged and excited to get involved. Make sure to change the tempo throughout the presentation to keep viewers interested. For instance, when introducing a call to action, whether it be to donate or to sign up, try talking in a slower tempo, with a loud and clear voice. Make sure to repeat yourself as well. This will grab the viewer’s attention and keep their eyes on the screen.

Pause. Emphasize key words.

Emphasis is extremely important when delivering the key messages you want to get across. Make sure to emphasize the who, what, and where words. OFLO puts a lot of emphasis on the words: “you”, “vote”, and “November” to grab the viewer’s attention. She also pauses after putting emphasis on the who, what, and where to give viewers a time to process and remember the information. The pause may be more essential than the emphasis, because silence is sometimes the best way to bring attention back to your message.

Use hand gestures for emphasis.

Pointing your hands when emphasizing words like “you” and “vote” makes the viewer feel more included and compelled to get involved. Make sure to only use hand gestures when appropriate, and keep your hands down and out of the frame when gestures aren’t needed. Moving around the frame, touching your face and hair, and adjusting your body can be very distracting and come off as unprofessional. Sometimes you don’t even notice yourself doing this, so its good practice to record and rewatch yourself on camera to adjust yourself accordingly!

Also, check out our Ten tips to make anyone a ZOOM fundraising pro for more tips!

Online training delivery with Udemy

Udemy is wonderful training delivery platform with both free and premium services. It enables online training along with questions, monitoring how many people took the course and how well students understood the material presented. The six minute course on “How to deliver powerful messages on video” is available at no charge on Udemy.

Udemy is a good resource for progressive groups looking to train geographically dispersed campaign staff and volunteers. Creating a training course is similar to uploading a video to YouTube.

Udemy is a wonderful, free platform to deliver online training courses.

Take Away: Skills development pays. Use free online training platforms to remotely deliver video based training.


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Posted with permission from the Democracy Labs

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

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