The “30-Second Fix”!

I’ve spent the past few years coaching people on how to present themselves and their ideas well on-camera. Early on, one of my clients asked me to share some techniques for wardrobe quick-fixes, ways to spruce up one’s casual stay-at-home garb for onscreen business meetings. And the 60-Second Fix was born. To be honest, it only takes 30 seconds to do a fast upgrade—it all depends on how handy the extras are.

No one cares what you’re wearing on the bottom half of your body, as long as you keep it hidden intentionally (and unintentionally). As for the top half, Simple and Solid are always good guidelines. But what can you do to elevate the rock band T-shirt or frayed-at-the-neck college sweatshirt?

Here’s the secret the next time you see the meeting reminder pop up: Whatever you’re wearing on top, ADD ONE MORE PIECE.

If something doesn’t have a traditional collar, add something that does, like a jacket or shirt.

If your top is super-casual (T-shirt, sweatshirt, jammies), add a pullover or cardigan to upgrade the look.

If it’s a nice top or blouse, adding a necklace will fill in the bare neckline that shows onscreen.

Anyone can put a top and bottom together. Adding an additional layer conveys that you are taking the meeting seriously and want to look pulled-together and polished. Just keep an emergency piece or two stationed close by and you’ll be camera-ready in a jif!

© Jill Bremer 2022

23 One-Sentence Tips for Presentations

  1. Presentations boil down to this: It’s not what you want to say, it’s what they need to hear.See the source image
  2. Use one-handed gestures to look relaxed and confident.
  3. If you open with the data, it will be picked it apart.
  4. Never start or end a presentation behind a piece of furniture, such as a lectern or table.
  5. Walk left or right on transitions, walk forward for stories.
  6. Be authentic—presentations are you, just a little louder, a little bigger, a little slower.
  7. If you’re not looking at eyes, you should be pausing, not talking.
  8. Inflection adds the meaning to your message and tells the audience what’s important.
  9. Speaking at a slower rate gives audiences time to process what you’re saying.
  10. Before you start writing your content, figure out what you want the audience to know, feel, and do when you’re done.
  11. Audiences crave meaning, so share during the opening how your content is relevant to them.
  12. Talk at their level, not above or below.
  13. Tease your key points in the opening to provide mile markers the audience can click off as they listen.
  14. Facts fade, data gets dumped, stories stick.
  15. Open with a hook to engage the audience, not “Thank you” or ”Today I’m going to talk about…”
  16. Openings and conclusions need to be delivered eyes-up, not looking at notes.
  17. Have the content and visuals ready a few days ahead of the presentation date to give yourself time to practice.
  18. Video record yourself during practice sessions and watch the playback to catch what you do and don’t like about your delivery.
  19. To reduce nerves, focus on what the audience is about to gain by listening to you, not on your shaky hands or voice.
  20. Remember: Audiences don’t come to see you; they come to hear the content.
  21. Say it one way, show it another way, and give it to them in a handout a third way.
  22. Insert a short Q and A before your conclusion, instead of at the very end.
  23. Be ready with one question to ask and answer yourself in case no one asks any.

© Jill Bremer 2021

Are Your Virtual Presentation Skills Helping or Hurting?

virtual presentation skillsFor the past year and a half, my business has been focusing on teaching presentation delivery skills for virtual meetings. Here are some of the strategies I’ve been sharing with others which may be helpful to you.


Eye Contact

The problem with virtual meetings is it’s impossible to have direct eye contact with someone. There is no way you can both be looking at each other simultaneously. But eye contact is just what you need to influence others and establish trust with them. So how do you do that?

You’ve got to develop a love affair with the camera. Just like the anchorman on the evening news, you need to look directly at the little bright light on your device, NOT the little faces along the side of your screen. Yes, you can glance away occasionally to gauge their reactions, but it’s important to snap back quickly to the camera light. I know it feels strange to not look at your audience, but in the virtual world – you ARE!

On the receiving end of your message, participants feel like you’re talking right to them, and your message becomes engaging and impactful for them. If you spend your speaking time looking off to the side, audiences begin to feel disengaged from you and your content, as though they’re observing a meeting you’re conducting with another group.

So plan on looking at the camera 95% of time and 5% looking at people and their body language. I suggest you even look at the camera when someone is talking TO YOU. The only way to display active listening (nodding, smiling, etc.) is to look at the camera while they speak, not at their face.



Though largely unseen, gestures can add vitality and inflection to your delivery. So go ahead and get your hands involved when you speak. If they occasionally appear onscreen, all the better.

Two tips –

1. Use more lateral gestures, not forward and back. Gesture toward the camera and your audience will literally recoil.

2. Try 1-handed gestures instead of two hands. One hand is scaled perfectly for the small screen and will support your message, not overtake it.


Facial Expressions

Keep in mind there will always be at least one set of eyes looking at you at all times in a virtual meeting, even when you’re not the speaker. People love to scroll through the gallery of faces to see what everyone is up to. Do your best to show you’re actively listening. And if you are the speaker, guard against a monotone face; that’s as dull as a monotone voice.



We all tend to get slouchy in our chairs as a day full of virtual meetings wears on. I fight that by putting a small airplane pillow behind my back. No, I didn’t steal one from my latest flight, you can buy them in stores – really. Tucked in the small of my back, it reminds me to sit up straight. Check your camera positioning, too. Are you filling the screen—1 inch of space above your head at the top, down to mid-chest at the bottom?

Remember you’re always “on” when you’re on-camera. Don’t let your delivery skills derail your message. Try these tips and sell your idea! If you’d like some expert coaching and feedback, contact me at [email protected].