Recommendation for Effective Virtual Classes

Recommendation for effective virtual classes_Sept 30 2020

By Guest Writer

Al Marcella, PhD, CISA, CISM

Recommendations for Effective Virtual Classes

Be prepared. Sounds basic, but you may be surprised!

Know how to use the platform and the features that you want to use during your meeting (e.g., conf. rooms, share screen, real-time surveys/polls, etc.).

Have a co-pilot assigned to manage the waiting room, messages, anything that will take you away from concentrating on and making the presentation.

Mute everyone once you begin the meeting or presentation, let folks with questions either use the raise hand option or submit them via the message board.

Have a set time limit in mind when you begin, announce it and stick to it.

What is the policy for video and mic “on” or “off”. Let everyone know and enforce it.

When asking for “any more questions” pause a respectable amount of time. If there are none, end the meeting. Don’t let dead air be a prompt for someone who feels awkward to ask a meaningless question, just because the dead air makes them feel uncomfortable.

If you are the session leader, dress in business casual, completely.

Test various backgrounds and lighting combinations BEFORE the meeting. Use simple, plain, muted color backgrounds. Lighting that illuminates your face should be subtle and not create a silhouette.

Test and adjust your camera BEFORE the meeting. Assure that your camera captures a clear picture, is focused and is positioned so that you can be seen.


Examine the room in which you will be sitting for the meeting, what collateral “stuff” is in the room that will appear on camera to your audience? Do you want these items to be broadcast to the masses? If not, remove them and clear the area.

If you are going to sit in an office and have your built-in bookcases beside or behind you, review the titles in your library that will be visible on camera. Are the appropriate? For you yes, maybe not so for your audience. What do the titles say about you? Is this the message you wish to communicate? Rearrange or move books that you feel may stir an audience into not listening to you but reviewing what you are reading.

The same goes for pictures, artwork, knick-knacks, etc. that you may have in the room where you will be on camera. What is there that may provide personal information about you, your family, or your company that really is no one’s business and should not be on camera. Remove these items.

Dr. Al Marcella, CISA, CISM is  President, Business Automation Consultants, (BAC) LLC, located in St. Louis, Missouri, and has been involved in developing online educational programs since 2000. BAC is an internationally recognized public speaker, researcher, and workshop and seminar leader with 38 years of experience in IT audit, risk management, IT security and assessing internal controls. Dr. Marcella, has authored numerous articles and 28 books on various IT, audit and security related subjects.

Dr. Marcella is the 2016 recipient of the Information Systems Security Association’s Security Professional of the Year award. Dr. Marcella has also been recognized by the Institute of Internal Auditors as a Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Member. Dr. Marcella has taught IT audit seminar courses for the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) and continues to teach for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

Reach and Follow Dr. Marcella at:

Twitter: @RiskMgtSME


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