Zoom Event Production: Presenter's Guide

Below you will find best practices you can use to help ensure your meeting/webinar is successful. 
Note: if you plan to use a webinar instead of a meeting, refer to Webinar and Large Meeting Information for details on licensing.


Making Sure You Look and Sound Your Best

Before your session

Test your equipment ahead of time

This means making sure the camera and microphone you plan to use are working smoothly, and that you have a stable Internet connection.

Internet Connection

  • Visit http://speedtest.oit.duke.edu to test your connection. A minimum of 1.5mbps is required and anything above 3mbps will make sure you won’t have audio or video issues.
  • Move as close as possible to your wireless connection or try plugging your computer directly into your router with an ethernet cable if you are able.
  • Make sure no other applications are running in the background
  • Make sure you are not using a VPN
  • If you have trouble the day of the show, restart your modem, router and/or computer
  • Ask others in the house not to stream or play online games during your speaking session
  • If you can’t establish a good connection on the day of the show, contact your event coordinator and ask to be connected via telephone or use the dial-in number provided in the invite.


Update Zoom

Make sure your Zoom client is running the most recent version. Select “Check For Updates” from the “Zoom Menu” in your application.

Sit Somewhere Quiet and Well Lit

  • While you may be muted during times when you are not actively presenting, be sure to sit somewhere quiet in your location so that there is minimal background noise.
  • If you are in a room with hard floors and walls, having some towels or other fabrics lying around can help absorb echo.
  • Once you are done speaking, remember to turn off your camera and mute your microphone. Please remember to silence your phone, animals and other humans.
  • Use a pair of ear buds or a headset with microphone if you can't be in a quiet area.

Position Your Camera

  • You’ll want a light source in front of you, not behind you (which will backlight you and make you look darker). So avoid sitting with a window behind you.
  • If on a laptop, put some large books underneath so that the laptop’s built in webcam is about eye-level, which will create a more flattering perspective.
  • Explore Zoom setup options in the client and consider using a virtual background, "Touch up my appearance" or "Adjust for low light".

Event Logistics

Please refer to the documentation to be sent separately before the event to confirm your call time and presentation time.

What to do before the event

  • Your event will usually open to presenters and staff 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to the official start time.
  • Verify your name is displayed so you're easily identified to the host, co-hosts and other participants, if it is not, rename yourself.
  • There will either be a 15 minute video countdown, with all panelists muted or the host/moderator will let you know when it is your time to present.

Content Development

  • If you are pre-recording your video with a phone, make sure the phone is horizontal, not vertical
  • Size your Powerpoint slides 16:9 (rectangular) or ask the event coordinator if there is a presentation template


What to do when it’s your turn

When the host, moderator or previous guest has introduced or segued to you, turn on your camera and unmute your microphone.  Once you’ve done that, proceed to give your remarks, then introduce the next guest or send it back to the host/moderator (per your agenda), and turn off your camera and mute yourself.

When sharing, share the application window unless you need to share multiple applications or windows in your presentation. Then share your desktop. This will avoid any notifications you receive from being viewed by your audience. 

If you are sharing video, there are two ways you can accomplish this,

1.  Select Share Screen and be sure to check the box at the bottom of the share screen that says, "Optimize for full screen video clip".
2. You can also Share Screen->Advanced tab and select Video. Be sure to check the box at the bottom of the screen, "Share sound".

If you are sharing anything with audio, be sure to check the box at the bottom of the share screen that says, "Share computer sound"

If you are sharing slides through Powerpoint and don't need notes but want to see the rest of your screen, you can have Slide Show display in a window.

 For Powerpoint:

 Open your presentation and select "Set Up Slide Show" in the "Slide Show" menu

Select "Browsed by an individual (window)" in the set up window

For Keynote:

Keynote Screen

Then, when sharing in Zoom, select the presentation window, rather than your desktop


If you want to share your presentation with notes (and if you only have one monitor):

  1. PowerPoint: Have your slide deck open 
  2. Click Share Screen in Zoom
  3. Select PowerPoint application and click "Share"
  4. Select the "Advanced Tab" to share just a portion of the screen
  5. Select "Presenter View" from the menu
  6. Move the green share box over the slide portion only 
  1. Keynote: Select "Rehearse Slideshow" from the "Play" menu
  2. Click Share Screen in Zoom
  3. Select the "Advanced Tab" to share just a portion of the screen
  4. Select just your slides
  5. Click "Share"

Once you are ready to present in your Zoom meeting

  • Exit full screen mode and select "Share" in the Zoom Controls and share the application with your content, remember NOT to choose the option to "Share Desktop".
  • You can "dock" Zoom video and controls by dragging them to the edge of the screen
  • Resize your content, chat, and participant windows to make them fit your display

If you like these settings, customize your Zoom clients to not use "Full Screen" automatically every time you are in a new meeting. To do this, when not in a meeting, open your Zoom client and select the gear icon to customize your settings and uncheck all options related to full screen.

Article number: KB0033036

Valid to: March 1, 2024