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  • Writer's pictureLynn Torrie

How to be a good online storyteller or audience.

How do we keep the connection between the teller and the listener when it's all on Zoom?

Learn tips to be seen and to partipate in a digital world.

Nix the Nostrils:

Bring your webcam to eye level.

If your webcam is too low, people will see an unflattering, distorted view of your face.

Put a few books or a box under your computer, to bring the camera to eye level.

Look at the camera when you speak. It feels odd, but it gives the listeners the impression that you're looking right at them.

Listeners should look up at the camera so that the storyteller knows that you are paying attention.

Don't be afraid to show your emotions!

Let there be light:

We need to see you! If your room is dark, put a lamp behind your monitor, to give some light on your face. A warm bulb gives a lovely glow.

Never sit in front of a window; you'll be backlit.

Move your chair until your head and shoulders fill most of the monitor.

If you're too close, you'll frighten us.

If you are too far away, it'll seem like you aren't there.


We don't need to see your dirty laundry.

Consider what's behind you when you come online. A simple, uncluttered background will keep people focused on you, and not your housekeeping.

Try sitting in front of a blank wall or a curtain.

A simple piece of art or a tidy bookcase can work well.

Dress for Success:

Be sure that your clothing is a different colour than your background, or you'll look like a floating head.

Solid, clear colours are flattering.

Busy patterns and shiny fabric can vibrate disturbingly.

If you wear make-up, keep it light.

Silence is Golden:

We can hear you!

Be sure to mute your mic if you are not speaking.

If you are the storyteller or the host, turn off your cell phone and get far from barking dogs, traffic sounds and other loud noises.

Tune in tomorrow for some tips specific to storytellers!

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