To start, you’ll need a device (computer, laptop, phone, or tablet) with a camera and an Internet connection. Those are minimal requirements. You don’t need a studio or more special equipment for this event.
- Select a place to sit (or stand) with the kind of clutter or lack thereof that best suits you. Ideally you’d like the viewers’ attention more on you than your background.
- Check your lighting. The better your lighting the clearer your image will be.
- Check for unwanted sounds. Turning off or muting alerts is always a good idea. But also ambient noises and friendly pets. Also check your audio levels.
- Check yourself in the camera. Ideally, center your face on the screen. You will likely need to elevate your laptop, phone, or tablet several inches — Stacks of books work great; foreheads only of poets not so great.
- Check your clothes. You know what you want people to see or not see. You can stand out or blend in as you choose.
- Check your distance from the camera (see 5). Some people believe seeing more of your body is better. Others are happy with their faces filling the screen.
- Check out the example of Paul Jones reading for our 2020 Virtual Open Mic below: