How to be a Presenter in our ‘New Normal’
Annie Voller on Virtual, Hybrid, Augmented Reality Presenting in 2021
As a popular and experienced TV Presenter and Broadcaster Annie Voller has made a great name for herself in the dynamic, high end International, Corporate, Experiential and Hybrid Conference and Events area as a professional Presenter, EMCEE, Interviewer, Facilitator and Keynote Speaker.
Since COVID hit in 2020, the Presenters role and skills, whether in a professional studio or a complex home and virtual green screen studio set up, has changed.
The usual face to face interaction has been replaced with the new virtual solutions that must engage the audience in a meaningful, authentic way and offer a completely different viewing experience to that of a day-to-day video call. This means that as a Presenter you must be more adaptable and adept at using technology and the full tool kit of virtual complex and augmented VX, AR, Unreal Reality, and interactive options now available… so the event, launch, meeting, TV programme, broadcast, awards ceremony or show really does go on.
No More Zoom Fatigue, how to create a live experience on Steroids…
A couple of recent, large scale, studio based, virtual shows, have seen Annie raise the bar, in live virtual and face to face Presenting. One project was hosting a live, fully interactive hybrid event for M -is and their client in the Defence Sector BAE Systems and Team Tempest. Other projects were for Deloitte and Shell.
Glass Floors, Hollywood Block Busters and working with Augmented Reality.
From precariously teetering on high heels being mindful of taking a tumble live on air. Thankfully, the Glass stages comprising of glass sheets placed on regular LED products which were in many studios sets at the beginning of the Pandemic, have been replaced with purpose- built LED floor products, which are now far safer, secure comfortable to stand on and essential for any XR production. However, the biggest game changer in virtual events and production has come from the Computer Gaming World and the Unreal platform.
Submarines and 4D
Just like in a Hollywood Blockbuster such as The Mandalorian, a Presenter must face the challenge of interacting with many Augmented Reality elements, such as a full-sized Submarine to the whole of South America!
So how as a Presenter do you make this Augmented Reality interaction look natural? How do you know exactly where you are in relation to the object? and how do you improve the overall experience for everybody?
This can be achieved by either building the AR object into the back plane of the content, so that as the Presenter you can see it on the LED screen you are on stood on or in front of. Or an object can be added to the front plane which gives you as the Presenter a broadcast view on a comfort monitor which can be placed under each camera. This means that with either of these two methods, you can walk behind and in front of an object.
But as lockdown measures are still at their most stringent, whether you are working on a large Augmented Reality set, webcast or from a home studio, most companies need a solution and an experienced Presenter which allows the event or show to go ahead without the Presenters leaving home.
In Annie’s home studio she has used her own home filming kit, green screen, and existing webcams.
From simple green screen presenting for a select audience and handling unlimited audience sizes through live Feeds from the home studio to even multi audience Team Calls, it is the rapport and experience from the professional Presenter that is essential to drive, manage the event or broadcast that creates a dynamic live virtual environment.
People will always take value and pleasure from face-to-face interaction. And whilst online has its limitations, there are now opportunities for companies to host virtual events, that due to the sheer number of attendees, risks and logistical implications, would simply not have been possible before .