With the return to offices and the spread of variants, we at Spoken with Authority expect that there will be greater demand for hybrid meetings and events. For in-person participants, that means continuing to give presentations and speak while wearing a mask. 

In this panel discussion, five Spoken with Authority experts provide advice on how to prepare for presentations and speak while wearing a mask.

Clockwise from top left: Jean Miller, Christine Clapp, David Henderson, Bjørn Stillion Southard, Michele Morrissey

Bjørn Stillion Southard: 

“You have to get warmed up. The state of play is different with a mask on because you have to project more. Consider doing some tongue twisters or singing along to music.”

Jean Costanza Miller: 

“The mask can cause a garbled, muffled sound. As you are increasing volume, you also have to over-articulate a little bit and take care to stay hydrated.”

David Henderson: 

“We are all wearing our masks for long periods, but we aren’t speaking the entire time. When we start speaking for longer periods, you build up a lot of moisture inside the mask. Consider wearing a surgical-style mask with a cloth mask over it so you don’t get self conscious about the mask getting or looking wet.”

Michele Morrissey:

“In terms of speaking to a large audience, consider having a portion pre-recorded and embedded into the presentation. Save live talk for Q&A and directing activities.”

Christine Clapp:

“Practice your presentation wearing a mask so you can get used to speaking loudly, getting the microphone positioned correctly, walking on stage, advancing slides, and glancing at your notes while you have a bulky item on your face.”

What strategies make it easier for you to speak while wearing a mask? Please share your ideas below. We read every comment and appreciate your suggestions. 

If you are unsure of how to plan a successful hybrid event that is inclusive of both the in-person and virtual attendees, review our Hybrid Meeting and Event Checklist.

This panel discussion video is also available here on YouTube.