Design Voices - Speaker Resources


Hello and thank you for aggreeing to participate as a speaker or host for IDSA’s Design Voices series. We are thrilled to have your expertise contributing to helping others learn and advance important topics for design. This page is designed to help you prepare for the event and share relevant information just for our speakers and hosts. 

All other most up to date information about the event itself can be found at





  • Takes place on the last Tuesday of each month
  • 1 hour event
  • Two presentations followed by a moderated Q&A session

Rehearsal Calls


  • Approximately 1 week prior to each Design Voices, we will host rehearsal sessions to ensure the event runs smoothly. Please make every attempt to participate

Rehearsal Call Agenda


  • Welcome & introductions
  • Event schedule review
  • Presentation best practices & expectations
  • Zoom tech / feature check
  • Interactive feature review: Polls, Q&A, Chat, Mural/Miro (if needed)
  • General Q&A
  • Close


Role of the Host



Virtual Event Technology Details

The Platform: We will use ZOOM conferencing software to conduct this event. Please visit to download and install the latest software on your device. 

Please log in to the zoom webinar (link will be provided) and be prepared to present at least 30 min prior to your sheduled session beginning. This will allow time to troubleshoot if needed and also account for any variability in the schedule.

Your Presentation: This is a professional event, please consider wearing professional dress / business casual while you are on screen. Slide decks should be presented as full screen PDFs / PowerPoint / Keynote in 16:9 (wide screen) format. 

Download Custom Design Voices Virtual Backgrounds Here

Audience Interaction: There are several features we can use during your presentation to enable audience participation including: Polls, Q & A, and Chat boxes. If you have other specific requirements or platforms you'd like to use, please let us know at your soonest convience so we can be prepared.


Presentation Tips

1. Get the Lighting Right: Make sure you have good front light—meaning the light shines brightly on your face. If your back is to a window, close the shades. While natural light is often the best choice, if your home office doesn’t have natural light, consider placing supplemental lighting to enhance your image.

2. Choose the Right Background: Try to use a background that enhances your professional image and is aligned with your message. Avoid a cluttered background or anything that can be distracting. Your background can either add to your professional presence or detract from it.

Download Custom Design Voices Virtual Backgrounds Here

3. Know the Technology: This is a performance, so make sure you know how to make it work. A dry run is essential so that you’re comfortable with the platform features. We will have a co-host (or producer or moderator) to assist you with the technology so that you can focus on your presentation.

4. Play to the Camera: When you are the one speaking, look directly into your computer’s camera. Put the camera at eye level. Try not to have your camera too far above or below you. If you are part of a panel or a team of presenters, make sure you are aware of when your camera is on. If you are not speaking but your camera is on, make sure you look like you are paying attention! Powerful presenters understand the importance of making eye contact with their audience, so this means you have to simulate the same effect virtually.

5. Get Close (But Not Too Close): You want the camera to frame your face, neck, and shoulders. People are drawn to faces, so you don’t want to lose that connection by being too far away, but you also don’t want your face to take over the whole screen like a dismembered head because, well, that looks weird. Practice your positioning and distance.

6. Stand Up: If possible, use a standing desk or position your laptop so you can stand at eye level with your computer. Standing up provides a higher energy level and forces us to put our body in a more presentation-like mode. If you have to sit, lean forward as you would if you were presenting at a real meeting or as if you were a TV news anchor. Avoid slouching away from the camera, as that sends a signal that you are disconnected from the audience.

7. Be Animated: Just like in a live presentation, you want to present with a little energy and animation. Too slow or too monotone in your voice makes it easy for folks to disengage and tune out. Keeping people engaged virtually requires you to actually be engaging

8. Pace Yourself: Without real-time visual audience feedback cues, getting the pacing right can be difficult. Even though you want to infuse some animation and energy into your presentation don’t pump up the speed too much. If you tend to be a fast talker in real life, practice slowing down just a bit. If you’re a slow talker, you may want to speed up just a bit.

9. Do A Sound Check: If your sound is garbled, people will tune out. If they can’t clearly hear you, they will leave. Make sure your sound emits clearly. Sometimes headphones or external microphones work better than the computer audio, sometimes not. Try to practice with the same technical configurations and location that you will use for your presentation.

10. Plug into Your Modem: If possible, plug your computer directly into your modem using an Ethernet cable. This will give you the strongest signal and most stable internet connection. The last thing you want to happen during your presentation is to have a weak or unstable internet signal. 

11. Engage Your Participants: Just as if you were doing an in-person presentation, craft your presentation to engage the audience. Try not to speak for more than ten minutes without some sort of pause or audience engagement. Use the participant list to interact with your participants by name. Have people chat or raise a hand if they want to speak.

12. Be Yourself and Have Fun: Audiences connect to authenticity, so be yourself! Let your personality show through. Have fun. If you look like you’re enjoying the presentation so will others. Research shows that happy people retain information better than bored or disinterested people, so model the energy that you want to create. The audience takes its cue from you.